braids collectively.
braided work.

Origin of braiding

1400–50; late Middle English. See braid, -ing1



verb (used with object)

to weave together strips or strands of; plait: to braid the hair.
to form by such weaving: to braid a rope.
to bind or confine (the hair) with a band, ribbon, etc.
to trim with braid, as a garment.


a braided length or plait, especially of hair.
a hair style formed by interweaving three or more strands of hair.
a narrow, ropelike band formed by plaiting or weaving together several strands of silk, cotton, or other material, used as trimming for garments, drapery, etc.
a band, ribbon, etc., for binding or confining the hair.

Origin of braid

before 950; Middle English braiden, breiden (v.), Old English bregdan to move quickly, move to and fro, weave; cognate with Old Norse bregtha, Dutch breien
Related formsbraid·er, nounwell-braid·ed, adjective
Can be confusedbraid brayed Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for braiding

Contemporary Examples of braiding

Historical Examples of braiding

  • Mrs. Rushton was braiding straw when Robert entered with his berries.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Brown braiding on a tailor-made jacket does not, however, consort with hay-wagons.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • Buttons are made by braiding yarn and sewing it in the form of buttons.

    Spool Knitting

    Mary A. McCormack

  • Whereupon she fell to loosening her hair and braiding it with hurried fingers.

    Desert Dust

    Edwin L. Sabin

  • He caught the hands that were braiding her hair, and held them in his rough grip.

British Dictionary definitions for braiding



braids collectively
work done in braid
a piece of braid



verb (tr)

to interweave several strands of (hair, thread, etc); plait
to make by such weavingto braid a rope
to dress or bind (the hair) with a ribbon, etc
to decorate with an ornamental trim or borderto braid a skirt


a length of hair, fabric, etc, that has been braided; plait
narrow ornamental tape of woven silk, wool, etc
Derived Formsbraider, noun

Word Origin for braid

Old English bregdan to move suddenly, weave together; compare Old Norse bregtha, Old High German brettan to draw a sword






broadly; frankly

Word Origin for braid

Scot variant of broad
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 braiding



"to plait, knit, weave, twist together," c.1200, breidan, from Old English bregdan "to move quickly, pull, shake, swing, throw (in wrestling), draw (a sword); bend, weave, knit, join together; change color, vary; scheme, feign, pretend" (class III strong verb, past tense brægd, past participle brogden), from Proto-Germanic *bregthan "make sudden jerky movements from side to side" (cf. Old Norse bregða "to brandish, turn about, braid;" Old Saxon bregdan "to weave;" Dutch breien "to knit;" Old High German brettan "to draw, weave, braid"), from PIE root *bherek- "to gleam, flash" (cf. Sanskrit bhrasate "flames, blazes, shines"). In English the verb survives only in the narrow definition of "plait hair." Related: Braided; braiding.



in part from stem found in Old English gebrægd "craft, fraud," gebregd "commotion," Old Norse bragð "deed, trick," and in part from or influenced by related braid (v.). Earliest senses are "a deceit, stratagem, trick" (c.1200), "sudden or quick movement" (c.1300); meaning "anything plaited or entwined" (especially hair) is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper