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illustration Arras



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Late Middle English, unknown


A rich tapestry, typically hung on the walls of a room or used to conceal an alcove.


A town in northeastern France; population 43,663 (2006). In medieval times it was a center for the manufacture of tapestries.

Examples of Arras in a sentence

"The castle is rumored to conceal secret passageways behind colorful arras."

"While no longer known for tapestries, Arras is still a lovely town to visit in France."

About Arras

This term came from the French town Arras, which was known for specializing in creating tapestries. Over time, the word came to refer to the tapestries themselves.

Did you Know?

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the character Polonius conceals himself behind a tapestry, specifically an arras, to listen in on Hamlet and the Queen’s conversation. In more modern times, the cartoon cast of “Scooby Doo” often conceals themselves behind an arras — usually with humorous results, like leaving legs and feet visible.

illustration Arras

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