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[pleet] /plit/
a fold of definite, even width made by doubling cloth or the like upon itself and pressing or stitching it in place.
verb (used with object)
to fold or arrange in pleats.
Also, plait.
Origin of pleat
1325-75; Middle English; variant of plait
Related forms
pleater, noun
pleatless, adjective
unpleated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pleat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mrs Denton lifted the corner of her apron, and began to pleat it.

    The Mynns' Mystery George Manville Fenn
  • Take a short length of ribbon and pleat it once through the center.

    Make Your Own Hats

    Gene Allen Martin
  • This is made by turning the first pleat to the left and the next to the right.

    Make Your Own Hats

    Gene Allen Martin
  • And she did hope that pleat from the neck would look all right.

    The History of David Grieve Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Having sloped off the lower corners of these parts, pleat them, and join them with the foundation.

  • Mistress Gundy patted the pleat of her lips every moment or two, maybe enjoying a silent burp.

    Wilderness of Spring Edgar Pangborn
  • “I did, but I forgot,” explained Dot, trying to fold over a pleat so that the vivid streaks of green paint would not show.

  • Rory rubbed the sweat from his drenched palm on the pleat of his kilt, and caught the basket-hand tighter.

    The Lost Pibroch Neil Munro
  • After each successive stroke press the pleat under the thumb of the left hand.

    Handicraft for Girls Idabelle McGlauflin
British Dictionary definitions for pleat


any of various types of fold formed by doubling back fabric and pressing, stitching, or steaming into place See also box pleat, inverted pleat, kick pleat, knife pleat, sunburst pleats
(transitive) to arrange (material, part of a garment, etc) in pleats
Word Origin
C16: variant of plait
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 pleat

1560s, used as the verb version of plait (n.) and probably representing an alternative pronunciation. Related: Pleated; pleating.


"a fold," 1580s, variant of plait (n.). With a gap in the printed record 17c.-18c., but probably it was in continuous oral use.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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