[pley-ting, plat-ing]


anything that is braided or pleated.
plaits collectively.

Origin of plaiting

First recorded in 1375–1425, plaiting is from the late Middle English word pleyting. See plait, -ing1


[pleyt, plat]


a braid, especially of hair or straw.
a pleat or fold, as of cloth.

verb (used with object)

to braid, as hair or straw.
to make, as a mat, by braiding.
to pleat.

Origin of plait

1350–1400; Middle English pleyt < Middle French pleit < Latin plicitum, neuter of plicitus, past participle of plicāre to fold; see ply2
Related formsin·ter·plait, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plaiting

Historical Examples of plaiting

  • "Yes," said Lucindy, smiling, and plaiting her skirt between her nervous fingers.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • Here the women do their work—the weaving of cloth, or the plaiting of mats.

    Children of Borneo

    Edwin Herbert Gomes

  • The women are very clever at plaiting, and some of their mats are very fine in texture.

    Children of Borneo

    Edwin Herbert Gomes

  • "I tore the plaiting of my dress," she said ruefully to Marjorie.

  • “However, they will do to learn with, and you can at once make hats with your plaiting,” he added.

    The Wanderers

    W.H.G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for plaiting



a length of hair, ribbon, etc, that has been plaited
(in Britain) a loaf of bread of several twisting or intertwining parts
a rare spelling of pleat


(tr) to intertwine (strands or strips) in a pattern

Word Origin for plait

C15 pleyt, from Old French pleit, from Latin plicāre to fold; see ply ²
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 plaiting



late 14c., "to fold, gather in pleats," also "to braid or weave," from Old French pleir "to fold," variant of ploier, ployer "to fold, bend," from Latin plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)). Related: Plaited; plaiting.



c.1400, "a fold, a crease," from Anglo-French pleit, Old French ploit, earlier pleit, "fold, manner of folding," from Latin plicatus, past participle of plicare "to lay, fold, twist" (see ply (v.1)). Meaning "interlaced strands of hair, ribbon, etc." is from 1520s, perhaps from plait (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper