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[breyd] /breɪd/
verb (used with object)
to weave together strips or strands of; plait:
to braid the hair.
to form by such weaving:
to braid a rope.
to bind or confine (the hair) with a band, ribbon, etc.
to trim with braid, as a garment.
a braided length or plait, especially of hair.
a hair style formed by interweaving three or more strands of hair.
a narrow, ropelike band formed by plaiting or weaving together several strands of silk, cotton, or other material, used as trimming for garments, drapery, etc.
a band, ribbon, etc., for binding or confining the hair.
Origin of braid
before 950; Middle English braiden, breiden (v.), Old English bregdan to move quickly, move to and fro, weave; cognate with Old Norse bregtha, Dutch breien
Related forms
braider, noun
well-braided, adjective
Can be confused
braid, brayed. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for braid
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Run on a straight line of braid for the lower edge, with fine stitches, working as shown, from left to right.

    The Art of Modern Lace Making The Butterick Publishing Co.
  • She thought it was something new to braid in her hair, I guess.

    Fairy Prince and Other Stories Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • A braid of her hair had fallen, and she was in the act of arranging it, while one hand held up her drooping riding-dress.

    Tony Butler Charles James Lever
  • That was over, I reflected, as I laid the braid back in the drawer.

    The Thing from the Lake Eleanor M. Ingram
  • And when she had tied a piece of stout, dark string to the end of the braid, she slipped it through the hair loop.

  • I think, on the whole, I shan't be obliged to learn to braid straw.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • It was, as I say, an agonizing moment, but no one plays the heavy dunch shot out of sand quite so surely as braid.

  • She had put her own hair down into a braid to be like the girl Dinney had told of.

    Gloria and Treeless Street Annie Hamilton Donnell
British Dictionary definitions for braid


verb (transitive)
to interweave several strands of (hair, thread, etc); plait
to make by such weaving: to braid a rope
to dress or bind (the hair) with a ribbon, etc
to decorate with an ornamental trim or border: to braid a skirt
a length of hair, fabric, etc, that has been braided; plait
narrow ornamental tape of woven silk, wool, etc
Derived Forms
braider, noun
Word Origin
Old English bregdan to move suddenly, weave together; compare Old Norse bregtha, Old High German brettan to draw a sword


/bred; breɪd/
broadly; frankly
Word Origin
Scot variant of broad
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for braid

"to plait, knit, weave, twist together," c.1200, breidan, from Old English bregdan "to move quickly, pull, shake, swing, throw (in wrestling), draw (a sword); bend, weave, knit, join together; change color, vary; scheme, feign, pretend" (class III strong verb, past tense brægd, past participle brogden), from Proto-Germanic *bregthan "make sudden jerky movements from side to side" (cf. Old Norse bregða "to brandish, turn about, braid;" Old Saxon bregdan "to weave;" Dutch breien "to knit;" Old High German brettan "to draw, weave, braid"), from PIE root *bherek- "to gleam, flash" (cf. Sanskrit bhrasate "flames, blazes, shines"). In English the verb survives only in the narrow definition of "plait hair." Related: Braided; braiding.


in part from stem found in Old English gebrægd "craft, fraud," gebregd "commotion," Old Norse bragð "deed, trick," and in part from or influenced by related braid (v.). Earliest senses are "a deceit, stratagem, trick" (c.1200), "sudden or quick movement" (c.1300); meaning "anything plaited or entwined" (especially hair) is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for braid


Related Terms

gold braid

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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