[weyn-skoh-ting, -skot-ing, -skuh-ting]
Also especially British, wain·scot·ting [weyn-skuh-ting, -skot-ing] /ˈweɪn skə tɪŋ, -skɒt ɪŋ/.

Origin of wainscoting

First recorded in 1570–80; wainscot + -ing1


[weyn-skuh t, -skot, -skoht]
  1. wood, especially oak and usually in the form of paneling, for lining interior walls.
  2. the lining itself, especially as covering the lower portion of a wall.
  3. a dado, especially of wood, lining an interior wall.
  4. British. oak of superior quality and cut, imported from the Baltic countries for fine woodwork.
verb (used with object), wain·scot·ed, wain·scot·ing or (especially British) wain·scot·ted, wain·scot·ting.
  1. to line the walls of (a room, hallway, etc.) with or as if with woodwork: a room wainscoted in oak.

Origin of wainscot

1325–75; Middle English < Middle Low German or Middle Dutch wagenschot, equivalent to wagen wain + schot (< ?)
Related formsun·wain·scot·ed, adjectiveun·wain·scot·ted, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wainscoting

Contemporary Examples of wainscoting

Historical Examples of wainscoting

  • My father brought the wainscoting from an old English country-house in Dorsetshire.

  • The doors were of mahogany as was likewise the wainscoting of the staircases.

  • You tap the wainscoting of the hall with your umbrella: “Oak,” you impress upon her, “all oak.”

    They and I

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • Has the wainscoting been examined lately, in the room you have put me in?

    Margaret Montfort

    Laura E. Richards

  • Then he staggered back against the wainscoting of the bower.

    Eric Brighteyes

    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for wainscoting


  1. Also called: wainscoting, wainscotting a lining applied to the walls of a room, esp one of wood panelling
  2. the lower part of the walls of a room, esp when finished in a material different from the upper part
  3. fine quality oak used as wainscot
  1. (tr) to line (a wall of a room) with a wainscot

Word Origin for wainscot

C14: from Middle Low German wagenschot, perhaps from wagen wagon + schot planking, related to German Scheit piece of wood
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 wainscoting



mid-14c., "imported oak of superior quality," probably from Middle Dutch or Middle Flemish waghenscote "superior quality oak wood, board used for paneling" (though neither of these is attested as early as the English word), related to Middle Low German wagenschot (late 14c.), from waghen (see wagon) + scote "partition, crossbar." So called perhaps because the wood originally was used for wagon building and coachwork. Meaning "panels lining the walls of rooms" is recorded from 1540s. Wainscoting is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper