frill vs gimcrack what difference

what is difference between frill and gimcrack



  • (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /fɹɪl/
  • Rhymes: -ɪl

Etymology 1

Of uncertain origin.


frill (plural frills)

  1. A strip of pleated fabric or paper used as decoration or trim.
    Synonyms: flounce, furbelow, ruffle
    • 1777, Samuel Jackson Pratt (as Courtney Melmoth), Liberal Opinions, upon Animals, Man, and Providence, London: G. Robinson and J. Bew, Volume 5, Chapter 114, p. 163,[2]
      […] one of her husband Jeffery’s shirts (with frills to the bosom) […]
  2. (figuratively) A substance or material on the edge of something, resembling such a strip of fabric.
    • 1979, Angela Carter, “The Company of Wolves” in The Bloody Chamber, Penguin, 1993,[3]
      […] the bright frills of the winter fungi on the blotched trunks of the trees;
    • 2009, Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger, London: Virago, Chapter 12,[4]
      ‘Isn’t it a shame!’ Mrs Ayres said softly, now and then pausing to brush aside a frill of snow and examine the plant beneath […]
  3. (photography) A wrinkled edge to a film.
  4. (figuratively) Something extraneous or not essential; something purely for show or effect; a luxury.
    • 1989, John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2009, Chapter 2, p. 91,[5]
      Torontonians clutter their brick and stone houses with too much trim, or with window trim and shutters—and they also carve their shutters with hearts or maple leaves—but the snow conceals these frills;
  5. (zoology) The relatively extensive margin seen on the back of the heads of reptiles, with either a bony support or a cartilaginous one.
    Synonym: neck frill
    • 1943, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, New York: D. Appleton-Century, Chapter 14, p. 227,[6]
      A large admiral lizard leapt up on a rail, stood on hind legs with fore legs raised like hands and watched for a moment […], then loped down the cess-path with arms swinging and iridescent frill flying out like a cape […]
    • 1997, Richard Flanagan, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, New York: Grove Press, Chapter 54,[7]
      She reminded Bojan of a desert lizard throwing up its frill to frighten predators.
Derived terms
See also
  • jabot


frill (third-person singular simple present frills, present participle frilling, simple past and past participle frilled)

  1. (transitive) To make into a frill.
  2. (intransitive) To become wrinkled.
  3. (transitive) To provide or decorate with a frill or frills; to turn back in crimped plaits.
    • 1863, Charles Dickens, Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgings, Chapter 4, in All the Year Round, Volume 10, Extra Christmas Number, 3 December, 1863, p. 35,[8]
      Mrs. Sandham, formerly Kate Barford, is working at a baby’s frock, and asking now and then the advice of her sister, who is frilling a little cap.
Derived terms
  • friller

Etymology 2

From Old French friller.


frill (third-person singular simple present frills, present participle frilling, simple past and past participle frilled)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete, falconry) To shake or shiver as with cold (with reference to a hawk).
  2. (intransitive, obsolete, falconry) To cry (with reference to a bird of prey).
    • 1688, Randle Holme, The Academy of Armory, Chester: for the author, Book 2, Chapter 13, “Of the Voices of Birds,” p. 310,[9]
      The Eagle Frilleth, or Scriketh
      The Hawk, as Falcon, Gawshawk, and all such Birds of Prey, cryeth, peepeth, or frilleth.



Alternative forms

  • jimcrack




  • IPA(key): /ˈd͡ʒɪmkɹæk/


gimcrack (not comparable)

  1. Showy but of poor quality; worthless.


gimcrack (plural gimcracks)

  1. Something showy but worthless; a gimmick or bauble.
    • 1847–1848, William Thackeray, Vanity Fair:
      [] he came home to find [] honest Swartz in her favourite amber-coloured satin, with turquoise bracelets, countless rings, flowers, feathers, and all sorts of tags and gimcracks, about as elegantly decorated as a she chimney-sweep on May-day.

Derived terms

  • gimcrackery


gimcrack (third-person singular simple present gimcracks, present participle gimcracking, simple past and past participle gimcracked)

  1. (transitive) To put together quickly and without much care; to bodge.
  2. (transitive) To embellish with gimcracks.

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