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[frit-l-er-ee] /ˈfrɪt lˌɛr i/

noun, plural fritillaries.
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 (pl) -laries
any N temperate liliaceous plant of the genus Fritillaria, having purple or white drooping bell-shaped flowers, typically marked in a chequered pattern See also snake’s head
any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genera Argynnis, Boloria, etc, having brownish wings chequered with black and silver

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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