Part of speech: noun
Origin: Latin, late 16th century
An illustration facing the title page of a book.
(Architecture) The principal face of a building.
Examples of Frontispiece in a sentence
"The special edition includes a frontispiece drawn by the author's husband."
"We're hoping to raise enough money to repair the frontispiece of the old headquarters."
Popularity Over Time
The noun frontispiece has a few applications, all relating to the, well, front of something. In a book it's the illustrated page in front of the title page. In architecture it's the front of a building. When you're using a word as fancy as frontispiece, you can expect the illustration or design to be pretty elaborate and ornamental.
Did you Know?
The Latin word "frontispicium" means facade. It was originally used in architecture to describe elaborately carved entrances. The publishing industry began to use the term in the 17th century to describe the illustrated page facing the title, because it was at the front, and it usually featured columns and other architectural elements.