noun, plural tap·es·tries.

a fabric consisting of a warp upon which colored threads are woven by hand to produce a design, often pictorial, used for wall hangings, furniture coverings, etc.
a machine-woven reproduction of this.

verb (used with object), tap·es·tried, tap·es·try·ing.

to furnish, cover, or adorn with tapestry.
to represent or depict in a tapestry.

Origin of tapestry

1400–50; late Middle English tapst(e)ry, tapistry < Middle French tapisserie carpeting. See tapis, -ery
Related formstap·es·try·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for tapestry

drapery, hanging, arras, dosser

Examples from the Web for tapestry

Contemporary Examples of tapestry

Historical Examples of tapestry

  • On the walls were hung some pieces of tapestry, where there were not bookcases.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The posters, maculated with filth, garnished like tapestry the sweep of the curbstone.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • There had been just room, and no more, for Clara to stand between the tapestry and the books.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • In a costume other than evening clothes, he might have walked out of a tapestry.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • After a drawing, now in the Louvre, for Raphaels tapestry cartoons.

British Dictionary definitions for tapestry


noun plural -tries

a heavy ornamental fabric, often in the form of a picture, used for wall hangings, furnishings, etc, and made by weaving coloured threads into a fixed warp
another word for needlepoint
a colourful and complicated situationthe rich tapestry of London life
Derived Formstapestried, adjectivetapestry-like, adjective

Word Origin for tapestry

C15: from Old French tapisserie carpeting, from Old French tapiz carpet; see tapis
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 tapestry

mid-15c., variant of tapissery (early 15c.), from Middle French tapisserie "tapestry" (14c.), from tapisser "to cover with heavy fabric," from tapis "heavy fabric," from Old French tapiz (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *tappetium, from Byzantine Greek tapetion, from classical Greek, diminutive of tapes (genitive tapetos) "tapestry, heavy fabric," probably from an Iranian source (cf. Persian taftan, tabidan "to turn, twist"). The figurative use is first recorded 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper