MEANING: noun:
1. An illustration facing or preceding the title page of a book.
2. A facade, especially an ornamental facade, of a building.
3. An ornamental pediment over a door or window.

ETYMOLOGY: The word was formed by corruption of French frontispice by association with the word ‘piece’. It’s from Latin frontispicium (facade), from front- (front) + specere (to look). Ultimately from the Indo-European root spek- (to observe), which also gave us spy, spice, species, suspect, expect, spectrum, despise, despicable, bishop, telescope, specious, speciesism, soupcon, prospicient, perspicuous, speculum, omphaloskepsis, and conspectus. Earliest documented use: 1598.


FRONDISPIECE - many leaflets of a fern, all on one single stem

FRONTISPICE - the most prominent condiment in the cabinet, often a chili or a curry

FRONTISPIERCE - a direct attack from straight ahead using a sharp instrument