any fabric woven of differently colored yarns in a crossbarred pattern.
a pattern of this kind.
a long, rectangular piece of cloth, usually with such a pattern and worn across the left shoulder by Scottish Highlanders.


having the pattern of a plaid.

Origin of plaid

1505–15; < Scots Gaelic plaide blanket, plaid (def 3) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for plaid

tartan, variegated, checked

Examples from the Web for plaid

Contemporary Examples of plaid

Historical Examples of plaid

  • It was the plaid belonging to Stella Hardy, who had died in her teens.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • She had on a plaid shawl of purple, green, and red checkers, crossed on her bosom.

  • In gorgeous tweeds and a shepherd's plaid cap he looked the part.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He put it under his plaid, and prepared to give the signal whistle.

  • Out flashed the lantern from beneath his plaid and he held it up to the window.

British Dictionary definitions for plaid



a long piece of cloth of a tartan pattern, worn over the shoulder as part of Highland costume
  1. a crisscross weave or cloth
  2. (as modifier)a plaid scarf

Word Origin for plaid

C16: from Scottish Gaelic plaide, of obscure origin
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 plaid

1510s, from Scottish, from or related to Gaelic plaide "blanket, mantle," of unknown origin, perhaps a contraction of peallaid "sheepskin," from peall "skin," from Latin pellis (but OED finds this "phonetically improbable"). The wearing of it by males forbidden by act of parliament, under penalty of transportation, 1746-82. As an adjective c.1600, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper