fritillary


[ad_1] noun, plural frit·il·lar·ies.
  1. any of several orange-brown nymphalid butterflies, usually marked with black lines and dots and with silvery spots on the undersides of the wings.

noun plural -laries

  1. any N temperate liliaceous plant of the genus Fritillaria, having purple or white drooping bell-shaped flowers, typically marked in a chequered patternSee also snake’s head
  2. any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genera Argynnis, Boloria, etc, having brownish wings chequered with black and silver
n.

type of butterfly, 1857, earlier a type of plant (Fritillaria Meleagris, 1633), from Latin fritillus “dice-box,” from fritinnire “to twitter,” imitative of the rattle of dice. The butterfly so called perhaps from resemblance of its markings to those of dice; or the names may have been given in confusion, perhaps on the notion that fritillus meant “chessboard.”

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