See more synonyms for mitre on


[mee-trey; Spanish mee-tre]
  1. Bar·to·lo·mé [bahr-taw-law-me] /ˌbɑr tɔ lɔˈmɛ/, 1821–1906, Argentine soldier, statesman, and author: president of Argentina 1862–68.


  1. the official headdress of a bishop in the Western Church, in its modern form a tall cap with a top deeply cleft crosswise, the outline of the front and back resembling that of a pointed arch.
  2. the office or rank of a bishop; bishopric.
  3. Judaism. the official headdress of the ancient high priest, bearing on the front a gold plate engraved with the words Holiness to the Lord. Ex. 28:36–38.
  4. a fillet worn by women of ancient Greece.
  5. Carpentry. an oblique surface formed on a piece of wood or the like so as to butt against an oblique surface on another piece to be joined with it.
  6. Nautical. the inclined seam connecting the two cloths of an angulated sail.
verb (used with object)
  1. to bestow a miter upon, or raise to a rank entitled to it.
  2. to join with a miter joint.
  3. to cut to a miter.
  4. to join (two edges of fabric) at a corner by various methods of folding, cutting, and stitching.
Also especially British, mi·tre.

Origin of miter

1350–1400; Middle English mitre (noun) < Latin mitra < Greek mítra turban, headdress Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mitre

Contemporary Examples of mitre

Historical Examples of mitre

  • Mitremyces is made up of two words: mitre, a cap; myces, a mushroom.

  • That night Philip slept at the "Mitre," and next morning he went up to Ballure.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • I thought that you had understood all this when you rescued me from those bullies at The Mitre.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • He dined at the Mitre as of old, and presented Temple to Johnson.

    James Boswell

    William Keith Leask

  • "The mitre is stronger than the mitraille, after all," said D'Esmonde, boldly.

British Dictionary definitions for mitre


US miter

  1. Christianity the liturgical headdress of a bishop or abbot, in most western churches consisting of a tall pointed cleft cap with two bands hanging down at the back
  2. short for mitre joint
  3. a bevelled surface of a mitre joint
  4. (in sewing) a diagonal join where the hems along two sides meet at a corner of the fabric
verb (tr)
  1. to make a mitre joint between (two pieces of material, esp wood)
  2. to make a mitre in (a fabric)
  3. to confer a mitre upona mitred abbot

Word Origin for mitre

C14: from Old French, from Latin mitra, from Greek mitra turban


noun, verb
  1. the usual US spelling of mitre
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 mitre

bishop's tall hat, late 14c., from Old French mitre, from Latin mitra "headband, turban," from Greek mitra "headband, turban," earlier a belt or cloth worn under armor about the waist, from PIE root *mei- "to tie" (cf. Sanskrit Mitrah, Old Persian Mithra-, god names; Russian mir "world, peace," Greek mitos "a warp thread"). In Latin, "a kind of headdress common among Asiatics, the wearing of which by men was regarded in Rome as a mark of effeminacy" [OED]. But the word was used in Vulgate to translate Hebrew micnepheth "headdress of a priest."



in the carpentry sense of "joint at a 45 degree angle," 1670s, perhaps from mitre, via notion of joining of the two peaks of the folded cap. As a verb from 1731.



alternative spelling of mitre (see -re).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper