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plait

[pleyt, plat]
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noun
  1. a braid, especially of hair or straw.
  2. a pleat or fold, as of cloth.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to braid, as hair or straw.
  2. to make, as a mat, by braiding.
  3. to pleat.
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Origin of plait

1350–1400; Middle English pleyt < Middle French pleit < Latin plicitum, neuter of plicitus, past participle of plicāre to fold; see ply2
Related formsin·ter·plait, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for plait

Historical Examples

  • It wouldn't be very hard; I could plait you one myself if I only had some hemp.'

    Abbe Mouret's Transgression

    Emile Zola

  • Then we can plait our ribbons at our leisure on Monday, in time for the festival on Tuesday.

  • They had found some long grass, which they set to work to plait.

  • "I shall," said Betty, and gave her morsel of a plait a convincing pull.

  • He'll be here before one could plait a girl's hair who's had her hair cropped!


British Dictionary definitions for plait

plait

noun
  1. a length of hair, ribbon, etc, that has been plaited
  2. (in Britain) a loaf of bread of several twisting or intertwining parts
  3. a rare spelling of pleat
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verb
  1. (tr) to intertwine (strands or strips) in a pattern
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Word Origin

C15 pleyt, from Old French pleit, from Latin plicāre to fold; see ply ²
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

Word Origin and History for plait

v.

late 14c., "to fold, gather in pleats," also "to braid or weave," from Old French pleir "to fold," variant of ploier, ployer "to fold, bend," from Latin plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)). Related: Plaited; plaiting.

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n.

c.1400, "a fold, a crease," from Anglo-French pleit, Old French ploit, earlier pleit, "fold, manner of folding," from Latin plicatus, past participle of plicare "to lay, fold, twist" (see ply (v.1)). Meaning "interlaced strands of hair, ribbon, etc." is from 1520s, perhaps from plait (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper