1. A defensive barrier of pointed inclined stakes or barbed wire.
2. A ruff for the neck worn in the 1500s.
[French, from Old French, mesentery (from its pleated shape), from (feves) frasees, shelled (beans), from the resemblance between the mesentery and the peel surrounding individual broad beans, from Latin (faba) frēsa, ground (bean), feminine past participle of frendere, to crush; see FRENUM.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.