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[pley-ting, plat-ing] /ˈpleɪ tɪŋ, ˈplæt ɪŋ/
anything that is braided or pleated.
plaits collectively.
Origin of plaiting
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English pleyting. See plait, -ing1


[pleyt, plat] /pleɪt, plæt/
a braid, especially of hair or straw.
a pleat or fold, as of cloth.
verb (used with object)
to braid, as hair or straw.
to make, as a mat, by braiding.
to pleat.
1350-1400; Middle English pleyt < Middle French pleit < Latin plicitum, neuter of plicitus, past participle of plicāre to fold; see ply2
Related forms
interplait, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for plaiting
Historical Examples
  • "Well, not quite so far as that," smiled Loveday, diligently brushing a flaxen mane ripply with plaiting.

  • Here the women do their work—the weaving of cloth, or the plaiting of mats.

    Children of Borneo Edwin Herbert Gomes
  • The barb was a plaiting of white linen, which was fastened at the chin, and entirely covered the neck.

    For the Master's Sake Emily Sarah Holt
  • The women are very clever at plaiting, and some of their mats are very fine in texture.

    Children of Borneo Edwin Herbert Gomes
  • “However, they will do to learn with, and you can at once make hats with your plaiting,” he added.

    The Wanderers W.H.G. Kingston
  • "Yes," said Lucindy, smiling, and plaiting her skirt between her nervous fingers.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • He turned upon the doorstep, and taking between his fingers the hem of Truelove's apron fell to plaiting it.

    Audrey Mary Johnston
  • The Javanese wear hats of bamboo, the plaiting of which is perfect.

    The Human Race Louis Figuier
  • The good priest hummed on, plaiting and replaiting his fingers and pursing his lips.

    The Firebrand S. R. Crockett
  • They had an instrument, called tressorium, for plaiting the hair.

    Dealings With The Dead A Sexton of the Old School
British Dictionary definitions for plaiting


a length of hair, ribbon, etc, that has been plaited
(in Britain) a loaf of bread of several twisting or intertwining parts
a rare spelling of pleat
(transitive) to intertwine (strands or strips) in a pattern
Word Origin
C15 pleyt, from Old French pleit, from Latin plicāre to fold; see ply²
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 plaiting



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.


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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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