a strong, woven material of hemp, cotton, or jute, in bands of various widths, used for belts, carrying straps, harness, etc.
such woven bands nailed on furniture under springs or upholstery, for support.
Zoology. the membrane forming a web or webs.
something resembling this, as the leather thongs or piece connecting the sections for the thumb and forefinger in a baseball glove or mitt.
any material or part formed from interlaced threads, thongs, branches, etc., or having a latticelike appearance, as the face of a tennis racket.
webbings, Chiefly Eastern New England Older Use. the reins or lines for controlling a horse or team of horses.

Origin of webbing

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at web, -ing1




something formed by or as if by weaving or interweaving.
a thin, silken material spun by spiders and the larvae of some insects, as the webworms and tent caterpillars; cobweb.
  1. a woven fabric, especially a whole piece of cloth in the course of being woven or after it comes from the loom.
  2. the flat woven strip, without pile, often found at one or both ends of an Oriental rug.
something resembling woven material, especially something having an interlaced or latticelike appearance: He looked up at the web of branches of the old tree.
an intricate set or pattern of circumstances, facts, etc.: The thief was convicted by a web of evidence. Who can understand the web of life?
something that snares or entangles; a trap: innocent travelers caught in the web of international terrorism.
Zoology. a membrane that connects the digits of an animal, as the toes of aquatic birds.
  1. the series of barbs on each side of the shaft of a feather.
  2. the series on both sides, collectively.
an integral or separate part of a beam, rail, truss, or the like, that forms a continuous, flat, narrow, rigid connection between two stronger, broader parallel parts, as the flanges of a structural shape, the head and foot of a rail, or the upper and lower chords of a truss.
Machinery. an arm of a crank, usually one of a pair, holding one end of a crankpin at its outer end.
Architecture. (in a vault) any surface framed by ribbing.
a large roll of paper, as for continuous feeding of a web press.
a network of interlinked stations, services, communications, etc., covering a region or country.
Informal. a network of radio or television broadcasting stations.
(sometimes initial capital letter) Computers. World Wide Web. (usually preceded by the).

verb (used with object), webbed, web·bing.

to cover with or as if with a web; envelop.
to ensnare or entrap.

verb (used without object), webbed, web·bing.

to make or form a web.

Origin of web

before 900; Middle English (noun), Old English; cognate with Dutch, Low German webbe, Old Norse vefr; akin to weave
Related formsweb·less, adjectiveweb·like, adjective

Synonyms for web

Word story

16. See Internet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for webbing

Historical Examples of webbing

  • The webbing which goes back and forth is interwoven with that which goes from right to left.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • Further down, another affair of webbing went around his waist.


    Lester del Rey

  • There were many people on the webbing of paths that came from the temple rock.

    Captives of the Flame

    Samuel R. Delany

  • Each of the pup's toes was joined to the next by a webbing of skin.

    The Duck-footed Hound

    James Arthur Kjelgaard

  • Then drawing the webbing tight was no trouble, and I was spinning with the bird.

British Dictionary definitions for webbing



a strong fabric of hemp, cotton, jute, etc, woven in strips and used under springs in upholstery or for straps, etc
the skin that unites the digits of a webbed foot
anything that forms a web



any structure, construction, fabric, etc, formed by or as if by weaving or interweavingRelated adjective: retiary
a mesh of fine tough scleroprotein threads built by a spider from a liquid secreted from its spinnerets and used to trap insectsSee also cobweb (def. 1)
a similar network of threads spun by certain insect larvae, such as the silkworm
a fabric, esp one in the process of being woven
a membrane connecting the toes of some aquatic birds or the digits of such aquatic mammals as the otter
the vane of a bird's feather
architect the surface of a ribbed vault that lies between the ribs
the central section of an I-beam or H-beam that joins the two flanges of the beam
any web-shaped part of a casting used for reinforcement
the radial portion of a crank that connects the crankpin to the crankshaft
a thin piece of superfluous material left attached to a forging; fin
  1. a continuous strip of paper as formed on a paper machine or fed from a reel into some printing presses
  2. (as modifier)web offset; a web press
the woven edge, without pile, of some carpets
  1. the web (often capital) short for World Wide Web
  2. (as modifier)a web site; web pages
any structure, construction, etc, that is intricately formed or complexa web of intrigue

verb webs, webbing or webbed

(tr) to cover with or as if with a web
(tr) to entangle or ensnare
(intr) to construct a web
Derived Formswebless, adjectiveweblike, adjective

Word Origin for web

Old English webb; related to Old Saxon, Old High German webbi, Old Norse vefr
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 webbing



Old English webb "woven fabric," from Proto-Germanic *wabjam "fabric, web" (cf. Old Saxon webbi, Old Norse vefr, Dutch webbe, Old High German weppi, German gewebe "web"), from PIE *webh- "to weave" (see weave (v.)).

Meaning "spider's web" is first recorded early 13c. Applied to the membranes between the toes of ducks and other aquatic birds from 1570s. Internet sense is from 1992, shortened from World Wide Web (1990). Web browser, web page both also attested 1990.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

webbing in Medicine




A congenital condition in which adjacent structures or parts are joined by a broad band of tissue that is not normally present to such a degree.




A membrane or fold of skin connecting the toes, as of certain mammals.
A structure of delicate, threadlike filaments characteristically spun by spiders.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

webbing in Science



A structure of fine, elastic, threadlike filaments characteristically spun by spiders to catch insect prey. The larvae of certain insects also weave webs that serve as protective shelters for feeding and may include leaves or other plant parts.
A membrane or fold of skin connecting the toes in certain animals, especially ones that swim, such as water birds and otters. The web improves the ability of the foot to push against water.
also Web The World Wide Web.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

webbing in Culture


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.