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[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.
Origin of wainscot
1325-75; Middle English < Middle Low German or Middle Dutch wagenschot, equivalent to wagen wain + schot (< ?)
Related forms
unwainscoted, adjective
unwainscotted, adjective


[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)
First recorded in 1570-80; wainscot + -ing1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wainscotting
Historical Examples
  • The walls of the room have a 3-inch baseboard, but no wainscotting.

    The Fairfax County Courthouse Ross D. Netherton
  • Mr. Parsons in vain took down the wainscotting, to see whether some mischievous neighbour produced the sounds.

  • wainscotting with compartments rise to the sills of the windows, and is continued to the high pace.

    Chelsea George Bryan
  • The inner seats for these were often part of the wainscotting, and in any case there would be no passage behind them.

  • You may as well go down to the kitchen for a pail of hot water and begin with the wainscotting in the hall.'

  • The mantelpiece was wooden, and the chimney corner decorated with shelves painted like wainscotting and doors.

  • They accordingly returned to the corridor, where they set to work once more to over-haul the wainscotting.

  • Every panel of the wainscotting seemed as hollow as its fellow—each projection as firmly secured.

  • Above the wainscotting, the walls and ceiling are finished in plain plaster with walls painted mauve and the ceiling white.

    The Fairfax County Courthouse Ross D. Netherton
  • At the same time the wainscotting painted in 1580 with inscriptions and heraldry was cleared away and replaced with cement.

British Dictionary definitions for wainscotting


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 wainscotting



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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