Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[leys] /leɪs/
a netlike ornamental fabric made of threads by hand or machine.
a cord or string for holding or drawing together, as when passed through holes in opposite edges.
ornamental cord or braid, especially of gold or silver, used to decorate uniforms, hats, etc.
a small amount of alcoholic liquor or other substance added to food or drink.
verb (used with object), laced, lacing.
to fasten, draw together, or compress by or as if by means of a lace.
to pass (a cord, leather strip, etc.), as through holes.
to interlace or intertwine.
to adorn or trim with lace.
to add a small amount of alcoholic liquor or other substance to (food or drink):
He took his coffee laced with brandy.
to lash, beat, or thrash.
to compress the waist of (a person) by drawing tight the laces of a corset, or the like.
to mark or streak, as with color.
verb (used without object), laced, lacing.
to be fastened with a lace:
These shoes lace up the side.
to attack physically or verbally (often followed by into):
The teacher laced into his students.
Origin of lace
1175-1225; (noun) Middle English las < Old French laz, lasLatin laqueus noose; (v.) Middle English lasen < Middle French lacier, lasser, lachier (French lacer) ≪ Latin laqueāre to enclose in a noose, trap
Related forms
lacelike, adjective
lacer, noun
relace, verb, relaced, relacing.
well-laced, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for lacelike
Historical Examples
  • Wherever there is sufficient rainfall, the fine-fronded hemlock may be found tracing its lacelike outlines upon the atmosphere.

    Alaska Ella Higginson
  • Then it bursts into yellow bloom, still finer, more feathery and lacelike.

  • They must have been master workmen whose fingers and whose ancient forges worked those delicate and lacelike traceries.

  • The lacelike white of the flowering elder covered the whole earth with a delicate bridal veil.

    Oldfield Nancy Huston Banks
  • By midnight she had just finished stirring the fire-tongs through the ghostly, lacelike ashes of her wedding gown.

    The Sick-a-Bed Lady

    Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • Clouds of lacelike spray hung in the air after each attack, and cascading torrents returned to the waves.

    Polaris of the Snows Charles B. Stilson
  • The snowy petals, with their lacelike edges, closely resemble those of the white carnation.

  • Then it bursts into yellow bloom still finer, more feathery and lacelike.

    Ramona Helen Hunt Jackson
  • Her bronze flesh was adorned with a lacelike tracery of beautiful design, in many tints.

    Captured by the Navajos Charles A. Curtis
  • She opened the box of candy, daintily pressed back the lacelike paper covering, and proffered some to him.

    The Cottage of Delight Will N. Harben
British Dictionary definitions for lacelike


a delicate decorative fabric made from cotton, silk, etc, woven in an open web of different symmetrical patterns and figures
a cord or string drawn through holes or eyelets or around hooks to fasten a shoe or garment
ornamental braid often used on military uniforms, etc
a dash of spirits added to a beverage
to fasten (shoes, etc) with a lace
(transitive) to draw (a cord or thread) through holes, eyes, etc, as when tying shoes
(transitive) to compress the waist of (someone), as with a corset
(transitive) to add a small amount of alcohol or drugs to (food or drink)
(transitive; usually passive) and foll by with. to streak or mark with lines or colours: the sky was laced with red
(transitive) to intertwine; interlace
(transitive) (informal) to give a sound beating to
See also lace into, lace up
Derived Forms
lacelike, adjective
lacer, noun
Word Origin
C13 las, from Old French laz, from Latin laqueus noose
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lacelike



early 13c., laz, "cord made of braided or interwoven strands of silk, etc.," from Old French laz "a net, noose, string, cord, snare" (Modern French lacs), from Vulgar Latin *lacium, from Latin laqueum (nominative laqueus) "noose, snare" (Italian laccio, Spanish lazo), a trapping and hunting term, probably from Italic base *laq- "to ensnare" (cf. Latin lacere "to entice"). Later also "net, noose, snare" (c.1300); "piece of cord used to draw together the edges of slits or openings in an article of clothing" (late 14c.). The "ornamental net pattern" meaning is first recorded 1550s. Sense of "cord for tying" remains in shoelace. As an adjective, lace-curtain "middle class" (or lower-class with middle-class pretensions) usually is used in reference to Irish-Americans, by 1928.



c.1200, "fasten (clothing, etc.) with laces and ties;" see lace (n.). Also "tighten (a garment) by pulling its laces" (early 14c.). To lace coffee, etc., with a dash of liquor (1670s) originally was used of sugar, and comes via the notion of "to ornament or trim." Related: Laced; lacing. Laced mutton was "an old word for a whore" [Johnson].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for lacelike

Word Value for lacelike

Scrabble Words With Friends