[ rib-uh n ]
/ ˈrɪb ən /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to form in ribbonlike strips.

Origin of ribbon

1520–30; variant of Middle English riban(d) < Old French, variant of r (e)uban, perhaps < Germanic. See band2
Related formsrib·bon·like, rib·bon·y, adjectiveun·rib·boned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ribbon

British Dictionary definitions for ribbon


/ (ˈrɪbən) /


verb (tr)

Derived Formsribbon-like or ribbony, adjective

Word Origin for ribbon

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



early 14c., ribane, from Old French riban "a ribbon," variant of ruban (13c.), of unknown origin, possibly from a Germanic compound whose second element is related to band (n.1); cf. Middle Dutch ringhband "necklace." Modern spelling is from mid-16c. Originally a stripe in a material. Custom of colored ribbon loops worn on lapels to declare support for some group perceived as suffering or oppressed began in 1991 with AIDS red ribbons.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper