• synonyms


[lath, lahth]
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noun, plural laths [lath z, laths, lahth z, lahths] /læðz, læθs, lɑðz, lɑθs/.
  1. a thin, narrow strip of wood, used with other strips to form latticework, a backing for plaster or stucco, a support for slates and other roofing materials, etc.
  2. a group or quantity of such strips.
  3. work consisting of such strips.
  4. wire mesh or the like used in place of wooden laths as a backing for plasterwork.
  5. a thin, narrow, flat piece of wood used for any purpose.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cover or line with laths.
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Origin of lath

before 1000; Middle English la(th)the; replacing Middle English latt, Old English lætt; cognate with German Latte, Dutch lat
Related formslath·like, adjective
Can be confusedlath lathe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for lath

girder, scaffolding, joist, shaft, pillar, pole, plank, timber, sill, panel, fabricate, mold, enclose, erect, construct, strip, bail, bolster, stanchion

Examples from the Web for lath

Historical Examples of lath

  • The propeller has four blades which are but little wider than a lath.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • She was tall and slender as a lath, very compliant and demure.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Don't you feel ashamed of keeping as thin as a lath when we are so fat; we who are only women?

  • He's a reg'lar little ripper, sir, and as straight as a lath.

  • By pulling the string he could spring the lath, and then let it snap back to its place.

    The Teacher

    Jacob Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for lath


noun plural laths (lɑːðz, lɑːθs)
  1. one of several thin narrow strips of wood used to provide a supporting framework for plaster, tiles, etc
  2. expanded sheet metal, wire mesh, etc, used to provide backing for plaster or rendering
  3. any thin strip of wood
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  1. (tr) to attach laths to (a ceiling, roof, floor, etc)
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Derived Formslathlike, adjective

Word Origin for lath

Old English lætt; related to Dutch lat, Old High German latta
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 lath


late 13c., probably from Old English *læððe, variant of lætt "lath," apparently from a Proto-Germanic *laþþo (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse latta, Middle Dutch, German latte "lath," Dutch lat, Middle High German lade "plank," which is source of German Laden "counter," hence, "shop"). As a verb, 1530s, from the noun.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper