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[weyn-skoh-ting, -skot-ing, -skuh-ting] /ˈweɪn skoʊ tɪŋ, -skɒt ɪŋ, -skə tɪŋ/
paneling or woodwork with which rooms, hallways, etc., are wainscoted.
wainscots collectively.
Also, especially British, wainscotting
[weyn-skuh-ting, -skot-ing] /ˈweɪn skə tɪŋ, -skɒt ɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
Origin of wainscoting
First recorded in 1570-80; wainscot + -ing1


[weyn-skuh t, -skot, -skoht] /ˈweɪn skət, -skɒt, -skoʊt/
wood, especially oak and usually in the form of paneling, for lining interior walls.
the lining itself, especially as covering the lower portion of a wall.
a dado, especially of wood, lining an interior wall.
British. oak of superior quality and cut, imported from the Baltic countries for fine woodwork.
verb (used with object), wainscoted, wainscoting or (especially British) wainscotted, wainscotting.
to line the walls of (a room, hallway, etc.) with or as if with woodwork:
a room wainscoted in oak.
1325-75; Middle English < Middle Low German or Middle Dutch wagenschot, equivalent to wagen wain + schot (< ?)
Related forms
unwainscoted, adjective
unwainscotted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for wainscoting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A few prints on the wall and a wainscoting of books showed the owner's tastes.

    Gulmore, The Boss Frank Harris
  • Has the wainscoting been examined lately, in the room you have put me in?

    Margaret Montfort Laura E. Richards
  • Bronston had leaned across the foot of his bed and from a wall pocket low down against the wainscoting had extracted something.

    Local Color Irvin S. Cobb
  • My father brought the wainscoting from an old English country-house in Dorsetshire.

    The Inn at the Red Oak Latta Griswold
  • The timber of the Service-tree is useful for the joiner, and it has occasionally been used for wainscoting rooms.

    Woodland Gleanings Charles Tilt
  • The doors were of mahogany as was likewise the wainscoting of the staircases.

  • The dark woodwork of the old English wainscoting glowed with the crimson flaming of logs in the wide fireplace.

  • It is the background for the furniture, and should be deeper than the dado or wainscoting.

    Color Value C. R. Clifford
  • Well, about a fortnight ago, my poor Jacques had the misfortune to put his wrist out of joint, in carrying a wainscoting.

    Moral Tales Madame Guizot
British Dictionary definitions for wainscoting


Also called wainscoting, wainscotting. a lining applied to the walls of a room, esp one of wood panelling
the lower part of the walls of a room, esp when finished in a material different from the upper part
fine quality oak used as wainscot
(transitive) to line (a wall of a room) with a wainscot
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Low German wagenschot, perhaps from wagenwagon + schot planking, related to German Scheit piece of wood
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 wainscoting



mid-14c., "imported oak of superior quality," probably from Middle Dutch or Middle Flemish waghenscote "superior quality oak wood, board used for paneling" (though neither of these is attested as early as the English word), related to Middle Low German wagenschot (late 14c.), from waghen (see wagon) + scote "partition, crossbar." So called perhaps because the wood originally was used for wagon building and coachwork. Meaning "panels lining the walls of rooms" is recorded from 1540s. Wainscoting is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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