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definition of the word oriflamme

by the Wiktionnary

From Old French oriflambe, oriflamme, in medieval Latin auriflamma, "golden flame", from aurum, gold, + flamma, flame.



oriflamme (plural oriflammes)

  1. (history) The red silk banner of St Denis, which the abbot of St Denis gave to French kings as they rode to war.
  2. (figuratively) Any banner, idea or principle which serves as a rallying point for those involved in a struggle.
    • 1963, Anthony Burgess, Inside Mr Enderby:
      Please remember that the vocabulary of our readers isn’t very extensive, so don’t go using words like ‘oriflamme’ or ‘inelectable’.
    • 1992, Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Enright, translating Marcel Proust, Swann's Way, Folio Society 2005, p. 417:
      Open spaces made visible the approach to almost every one of them, or else a splendid mass of foliage stood out before it like an oriflamme.

Definition from Wiktionary
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