[lath-ing, lah-thing]


the act or process of applying lath.
a quantity of lath in place.
material used as lath.

Origin of lathing

First recorded in 1535–45; lath + -ing1
Also called lath·work [lath-wurk, lahth-] /ˈlæθˌwɜrk, ˈlɑθ-/ for defs 1, 2.


[lath, lahth]

noun, plural laths [lath z, laths, lahth z, lahths] /læðz, læθs, lɑðz, lɑθs/.

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.
a group or quantity of such strips.
work consisting of such strips.
wire mesh or the like used in place of wooden laths as a backing for plasterwork.
a thin, narrow, flat piece of wood used for any purpose.

verb (used with object)

to cover or line with laths.

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




a machine for use in working wood, metal, etc., that holds the material and rotates it about a horizontal axis against a tool that shapes it.

verb (used with object), lathed, lath·ing.

to cut, shape, or otherwise treat on a lathe.

Origin of lathe

1300–50; Middle English: frame, stand, lathe; compare Old Norse hlath stack (see lade), Danish -lad in væverlad weaver's batten, savelad saw bench
Can be confusedlath lathe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lathing

Historical Examples of lathing

  • This inviting or "bidding" was usually called "lating" or "lathing;" from the A.-S.

  • The outer walls of a stone house should always be firred off inside for lathing and plastering, to keep them thoroughly dry.

    Rural Architecture

    Lewis Falley Allen

  • All corners and angles should be framed solid and have two-inch projections for lathing.

    Convenient Houses

    Louis Henry Gibson

  • This schoolhouse, even to the lathing, was made of black walnut that was sawed at a local mill.

    What and Where is God?

    Richard La Rue Swain

  • In at least one of the Oraibi kivas the plastering of the wall is laid on sticks that form a kind of lathing.

British Dictionary definitions for lathing


noun plural laths (lɑːðz, lɑːθs)

one of several thin narrow strips of wood used to provide a supporting framework for plaster, tiles, etc
expanded sheet metal, wire mesh, etc, used to provide backing for plaster or rendering
any thin strip of wood


(tr) to attach laths to (a ceiling, roof, floor, etc)
Derived Formslathlike, adjective

Word Origin for lath

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




a machine for shaping, boring, facing, or cutting a screw thread in metal, wood, etc, in which the workpiece is turned about a horizontal axis against a fixed tool


(tr) to shape, bore, or cut a screw thread in or on (a workpiece) on a lathe

Word Origin for lathe

perhaps C15 lath a support, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Danish lad lathe, Old English hlæd heap




British history any of the former administrative divisions of Kent

Word Origin for lathe

Old English læth district
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 lathing



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.



"machine for turning," early 14c., of uncertain origin, probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish drejelad "turning-lathe," Old Norse hlaða "pile of shavings under a lathe," related to hlaða "to load, lade").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper