View synonyms for ribbon


[ rib-uhn ]


  1. a woven strip or band of fine material, as silk or rayon, varying in width and finished off at the edges, used for ornament, tying, etc.
  2. material in such strips.
  3. anything resembling or suggesting a ribbon or woven band.
  4. a band of inked material used in a typewriter, adding machine, etc., that supplies ink for printing the figure on the striking typeface onto the paper beneath.
  5. a strip of material, as satin or rayon, being or representing a medal or similar decoration, especially a military one:

    an overseas ribbon.

  6. ribbons,
    1. torn or ragged strips; shreds:

      clothes torn to ribbons.

    2. reins for driving.
  7. a long, thin flexible band of metal, as for a spring, a band saw, or a tapeline.
  8. Also Also called ledger, ledger board,. Carpentry. a thin horizontal piece attached to studding to support the ends of joists.
  9. Architecture. came 2.
  10. Also Nautical. a distinctive narrow band or stripe painted along the exterior of a hull.
  11. Shipbuilding. ribband 1( def 1 ).

verb (used with object)

  1. to adorn with ribbon.
  2. to mark with something suggesting ribbon.
  3. to separate into ribbonlike strips.

verb (used without object)

  1. to form in ribbonlike strips.


/ ˈrɪbən /


  1. a narrow strip of fine material, esp silk, used for trimming, tying, etc
  2. something resembling a ribbon; a long strip

    a ribbon of land

  3. a long thin flexible band of metal used as a graduated measure, spring, etc
  4. a long narrow strip of ink-impregnated cloth for making the impression of type characters on paper in a typewriter or similar device
  5. plural ragged strips or shreds (esp in the phrase torn to ribbons )
  6. a small strip of coloured cloth signifying membership of an order or award of military decoration, prize, or other distinction
  7. a small, usually looped, strip of coloured cloth worn to signify support for a charity or cause

    a red AIDS ribbon


  1. to adorn with a ribbon or ribbons
  2. to mark with narrow ribbon-like marks
  3. to reduce to ribbons; tear into strips
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Derived Forms

  • ˈribbon-ˌlike, adjective
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Other Words From

  • rib·bon·like rib·bon·y adjective
  • un·rib·boned adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of ribbon1

First recorded in 1520–30; variant of Middle English riban(d), from Old French, variant of r(e)uban, perhaps from Germanic; band 2
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Word History and Origins

Origin of ribbon1

C14 ryban , from Old French riban , apparently of Germanic origin; probably related to ring 1, band ²
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Example Sentences

He was always knocking the ribbon out, and I was putting it always in.

From Ozy

Display tarps, marking ribbon, or your blaze-orange hunting vest.

The Office Superstore opened its first store in Brighton, Massachusetts in 1986, less than a year after the idea came to founder, Tom Stemberg, who struggled to get a replacement ribbon for his typewriter over the July 4th weekend.

“In here would be total destruction,” Soreng said, pointing to woods between the ribbons and the bridge.

Bringing fabric into a tree, with ribbon, really can help provide contrast.

He was one of living symbols of “White Ribbon Revolution” of 2012, always in black, slim, shaved, almost a monk.

At various times, we had spoken about honors--Hitchcock had been awarded the Légion d'Honneur and wore a ribbon in his lapel.

But it was a real gong and it came with a nice ribbon and a letter from the Queen.

But the WTC ribbon is from the attack on 9/11, which saw Baugh race to the scene after the first plane struck.

As a cook, after college, I drank Pabst Blue Ribbon along with the rest of the team.

The badge of the order was a ribbon, striped black, white and yellow, and the device something like an icicle.

Henrietta had been dressed in a clean slip and the smartest hair ribbon she owned.

For young ladies, at home, ribbon or velvet are the most suitable materials for a head-dress.

She is coming, my children—mes enfants, as Tommy will say when he gets his job as ribbon starcher to the French ambassador.

The veil had slipped and might easily have been mistaken for a ribbon confining the queue at the base of the head.


Related Words




Ribbleribbon copy