Definition of fringe in English:


Pronunciation /frinj/ /frɪndʒ/

Translate fringe into Spanish


  • 1the fringe or the fringesThe border or outer edges of an area or group.

    ‘the southern fringes of the city’
    • ‘people on the fringe of the crowd had trouble hearing him’
    1. 1.1The unconventional, extreme, or marginal part of a group or sphere of activity.
      ‘the lunatic fringe of American political life’
      • ‘rap music is no longer something on the fringe’
      • ‘They're not going to listen to people on the fringe.’
      • ‘Chun Sue fashions herself as renegade, on the fringe of culture.’
      • ‘Yet every radical justice movement-from abolition to suffrage-started on the fringe.’
      • ‘And the creation of new genders has become a hobby for those on the fringe.’
      • ‘I suppose I was part of the burnout clique, but I was definitely on the fringe.’
      • ‘There were stirrings on the fringe, too, where students were listening to Bob Dylan and rock and roll.’
      • ‘Though most of these extreme groups are on the fringe, they are increasingly attracting votes and making coalitions with mainstream parties such as in Europe.’
      • ‘As always, he is positioned on the fringe of the right-wing fringe.’
      • ‘But life on the fringe is not without constant hazards.’
      • ‘Thus, politics on the fringe follows two golden rules.’
      • ‘Many of the people in this list were former or freed slaves, people at the end of their lives or careers who were hanging on to their former glory, or people on the fringe of society.’
      • ‘More severe penalties is the answer, as this will deter the youths on the fringe who join them.’
      • ‘But Singer says he was always fascinated by those on the fringe, and found himself befriending a number of the city's numerous homeless folk.’
      • ‘And even though mainstream acceptance of our Way is gaining ground yearly, we are still on the fringe, and still suspect.’
      • ‘It may not be pop, but it's certainly populist, and that's why it strikes a chord with a story about people on the fringe who find solace in each other.’
      • ‘They felt like they were on the fringe of American society.’
      • ‘Increasingly, the unions will be left alone, out on the fringe.’
      • ‘Either truth would establish itself within our beings or off we would slip into the deep darkness of the social fringe.’
  • 2A decorative border of hanging threads left loose or formed into tassels or twists, used to edge clothing or material.

    ‘the beaded fringe of her dress’
    • ‘Much of the vigor of the textile traditions of Mahdia comes through the embellishment of woven cloth with embroidery and the addition of fringes, tassels, and pompoms.’
    • ‘Being a very feminine line, rounded shapes, inverted pleats, fringes, deconstructed cuts and chunky buttons feature in the collection.’
    • ‘She was wearing a floral silk shirt with a fringe and a denim miniskirt.’
    • ‘A cream marble altar stood complacently in mid-front, draped in a stunningly white tablecloth with fringes at the edges.’
    • ‘It should also include a fringe of cutesy little pom-poms that I can dangle around my monitor.’
    • ‘She chuckled, twisting the fringe of the pillow with her right hand.’
    • ‘I myself was dressed in a short white satin dress that had white fringes of material down the bottom, and fell in waves down my hips.’
    • ‘I lie under a tartan rug and my fingers twist and plait its fringe.’
    • ‘They wore yellow embellishments, and both they and the grenadiers had fringes to their epaulettes.’
    • ‘Allie wound a string around a black bead and glanced at the child decorating her removed armlets with tassels and a tan fringe.’
    • ‘Simon rolled his eyes and picked up a black teddy with a pompom fringe.’
    • ‘To a certain extreme, having your jean shorts altered and getting rid of the fringes can help minimize the nasty look of cut-off jeans.’
    • ‘I had given her a hot pink sweater with pompom fringes.’
    • ‘It is decorated with strings, fringes, tassels, and bells.’
    • ‘It looked like a leotard with little dangling fringes at the bottom and sequins everywhere.’
    • ‘The Prince of Parthia, having completed his evening devotions, folded his shawl, kissing its fringes.’
    • ‘Round his neck is a horizontally striped silk scarf with a tasselled fringe.’
    • ‘Many tweeds shown on the catwalk had raw fringes and the fabric could be inset with jewel rhinestones.’
    • ‘The skirt is a houndstooth print with black leather trim and a fringe at the hem.’
    • ‘Beads and daisy chains are feminine touches, while rickracks, fringes, and narrow ribbons have universal appeal.’
    edging, edge, border, hem, trimming, frill, flounce, ruffle
    View synonyms
  • 3British The front part of a person's hair cut so as to hang over the forehead; bangs.

    ‘she smiled as she pushed her fringe back out of her eyes’
    • ‘As part of a new image to promote the single, 21-year-old Kimberley, of Allerton, Bradford, has been given a new haircut with a fringe.’
    • ‘Scott put out his cigarette in the ashtray, and wiped his hand across his forehead, pushing back his fringe.’
    • ‘His thin, reddish hair is neatly cut; a boyish fringe covers his forehead.’
    • ‘The rest of her hair was black and cropped short, so the fringe hung like two pink curtains to her face.’
    • ‘The girl who assaulted the woman is said to have long black hair which was tied back in a ponytail with a fringe.’
    • ‘One was five feet eight inches tall with light brown hair over his ears, with white highlights in his fringe, which was over his forehead and gelled straight.’
    • ‘I glance in the wing mirror of the car and check how I look, I'm so nervous and my hands are shaking as I push my fringe away from my eyes.’
    • ‘He stopped and turned around, pushing his fringe out of his deep dark eyes, glistening with tears.’
    • ‘He pushed his fringes behind his ears and tilted his head, expecting an answer.’
    • ‘My hairdresser was cutting my fringe quickly and expertly.’
    • ‘Indeed the 34-year-old has even had her hair cut stylishly short with a fringe in the hope that she might look less like a ballet dancer in her everyday life.’
    • ‘She's sitting in her bedroom, on her bed, legs crossed and hair tied back, a heavy fringe tucked behind her ears.’
    • ‘You would also do well with a textured fringe or a fringe that was longer on the sides and slightly shorter in the middle.’
    • ‘Wisps of her fringe had escaped the loose ponytail and were now curling around her oval face.’
    • ‘He was aged about 30 to 35 with shoulder-length dark brown hair and a long fringe.’
    • ‘The man was white, in his thirties, quite tall, with pale skin and black, shoulder length hair with a short fringe.’
    • ‘The best cuts have soft layers and wispy fringes that make your hair versatile and easy to style’
    • ‘He had a fairly tanned look and he had dark brown hair with a blond fringe.’
    • ‘He had black and blonde hair with a long fringe that drooped over his left eye, giving him a sort of mysterious look.’
    • ‘The red one is bizarrely similar to the hair I used to have many years ago when I was at college, including the authentically crooked fringe.’
    1. 3.1A natural border or edging of hair or fibers in an animal or plant.
      ‘a long fringe of hair on the tail’
      • ‘Stems and leaves have a fringe of fine hairs that are particularly appealing when plants are side- or back-lit by the sun.’
      • ‘Most are blackish brown with a white fringe of hair decorously surrounding the face.’
      • ‘Forefeet and hindfeet each have 5 digits, and the surface area of the forefeet is increased by the addition of a fringe of stiff hairs around the periphery.’
      • ‘The ears are short and rounded, and in some species, their openings are protected by a fringe of hairs around the inner margin of the ear.’
      • ‘So she got what was effectively a weed, as the plant produces plantlets along the leaf fringes, which drop off and sow themselves all over the place.’
      • ‘A short fringe of tentacles surrounds a the broad oval disc.’
      • ‘One genus is predatory, trapping small invertebrates under the fringe of the mantle, and then eating the captured prey.’
      • ‘The fringe on owls' trailing feathers, however, allows for ‘a very large noise reduction at the speed owls fly,’ he said.’
      • ‘The birds hold their bills upside down, using their lower bills and tongues to pump water through fringes on the top bills, which filters out microscopic mouthfuls of food.’
  • 4A band of contrasting brightness or darkness produced by diffraction or interference of light.

    ‘According to Young, diffraction fringes occur as a result of interference between the incident wave and a wave arising from the edge of a diffracting aperture or body.’
    • ‘The rainbows, often referred to as ‘the glory’, are simply the chromatic fringes developed by diffraction at the margin of the shadow, but it's a startling spectacle.’
    • ‘During this process, the beams from the reference surface and test sample interfere, producing dark and bright fringes.’
    • ‘It can be seen most clearly when a coherent wave is split into two partial waves that are then recombined to produce a pattern of bright and dark fringes on a screen.’
    • ‘And when waves are specified and you need to look at fringes, think consciously about where the light has been.’
    1. 4.1A strip of false color in an optical image.
      ‘The device can produce high-contrast optical fringes.’
      • ‘In those days such simple telescopes tended to produce poor images with colored fringes around celestial objects.’
      • ‘But being me I kept being distracted by the fringe of the projected image.’
  • 5North American

    short for fringe benefit

    ‘we offer the highest salary and fringes in the country’
    • ‘Clark observes that other factors, such as the current exchange rates, competitive wages and lower fringes, also play into the picture.’


  • Not part of the mainstream; unconventional, peripheral, or extreme.

    ‘fringe theater’
    • ‘a fringe political party’
    • ‘Roughly ten days after beginning your fringe theatre experience, you return to the rest of your life, eager to re-orient yourself.’
    • ‘Start getting experience with fringe shows and repertory theatres, particularly those with young designer programmes.’
    • ‘No one would claim these views represent mainstream opinion - and fringe groups often try to hijack the news agenda through co-ordinated letter writing campaigns.’
    • ‘But doing fringe theatre in cramped spaces with folding chairs is a far cry from getting produced in a subscription season in one of the biggest houses in town.’
    • ‘As funding got tight in the early 1980s for the kind of fringe theatre he was involved in, he was increasingly drawn to opera, and today directs little else.’
    • ‘London's fringe theatre offers a myriad of possibilities; it and can be many things, but what it should never be is the theatrical equivalent of a vanity publishing project.’
    • ‘With this novel, Fiona McGregor not only jumps to the foreground of Australia's fringe novelists, but also earns a place amongst the mainstream.’
    • ‘The other gallery owner and the two artists of the rejected paintings have a connection to political activism, which they note has developed out of their experiences in fringe camps.’
    • ‘It doesn't take much research to learn that we're talking not about radical fringe groups here.’
    • ‘Well, this kind of left-field, fringe thinking has always attracted me.’
    • ‘A guy who had been considered a fringe radical just a few years earlier was suddenly a serious statesman.’
    • ‘At this level of operation, environmentally sustainable waste management will no longer be a fringe operation - it will be part of the mainstream.’
    • ‘Nicola Gunn found the theatre school she was looking for on the Canadian fringe circuit.’
    • ‘Its important that the mainstream peace movement takes a stand against these fringe elements.’
    • ‘It went from being a fringe movement to becoming part of the mainstream.’
    • ‘This is exactly how a far-right fringe party such as the enters the mainstream.’
    • ‘I don't believe that she is a particularly good journalist, and she is certainly not a radical fringe activist or even an effective spokesperson for them.’
    • ‘Over on the Miami mainland, an alternative fringe art fair fired up its own energy.’
    • ‘American Eagle is still dabbling in trendier items, like a line of ponchos and other fringe wear that teenagers will experiment with.’
    unconventional, unorthodox, offbeat, alternative, avant-garde, experimental, innovative, innovatory, radical, extreme
    View synonyms

transitive verbfringes, fringing, fringed

[with object]
  • 1Decorate (clothing or material) with a fringe.

    • ‘a rich robe of gold, fringed with black velvet’
    trim, hem, edge, border, rim, bind, braid
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Form a border along or around (something)
      • ‘the sea is fringed by palm trees’
      border, edge, bound, skirt, line, hem, flank, verge, surround, enclose, encircle, circle, encompass, ring, circumscribe
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Form a natural border or edging of hair or fibers on (part of an animal or plant)
      • ‘each of the legs on its first six body segments were fringed with fine hairlike structures’


Middle English (in fringe (sense 2 of the noun)): from Old French frenge, based on late Latin fimbria, earlier a plural noun meaning ‘fibers, shreds’.