Definition of vair in English:

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Pronunciation: /vɛː/


[mass noun]
1Fur obtained from a variety of red squirrel, used in the 13th and 14th centuries as a trimming or lining for garments.
Example sentences
  • On special feasts, the knights would bestow many robes of vair, for which reason courtiers and jugglers from Lombardy and all of Italy were drawn to Florence, where they were welcomed.
  • It was ordained that no ecclesiastic, but dignified clergymen, should wear vair, gray, or ermine.
  • One morning this maidservant, with a basket of cabbage greens, passed by Bito who, beforehand, had thought to dress in his finest robes of rich vair.
2 Heraldry Fur represented by interlocking rows of shield-shaped or bell-shaped figures which are typically alternately blue and white, as a tincture.
Example sentences
  • The height of a row of vair is not strictly specified, but is typically about one-fifth that of the shield.
  • The white and blue bell-shapes of vair usually form the equivalent of a chequerboard pattern.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin varius (see various).

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