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  1. Usually tresses. long locks or curls of hair.
  2. a plait or braid of hair.
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Origin of tress

1250–1300; Middle English tresse < Middle French: plait or braid of hair < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for tresses


  1. (often plural) a lock of hair, esp a long lock of woman's hair
  2. a plait or braid of hair
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  1. (tr) to arrange in tresses
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Derived Formstressy, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French trece, of uncertain origin
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 tresses



late 13c., "long lock of hair," from Old French tresse "a plait or braid of hair" (12c.), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *trichia "braid, rope," from Greek trikhia "rope," from thrix (genitive trikhos) "hair." Related: Tresses.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper