Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Architecture The section of a pedestal between base and surbase.
  • n. The lower portion of the wall of a room, decorated differently from the upper section, as with panels.
  • n. A rectangular groove cut into a board so that a like piece may be fitted into it.
  • n. The groove so cut.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a dado.
  • transitive v. To cut a dado in.
  • transitive v. To fit into a dado.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The section of a pedestal above the base.
  • n. The lower portion of an interior wall decorated differently from the upper portion.
  • n. The rectangular channel in a board cut across the grain.
  • v. To furnish with a dado.
  • v. To cut a dado.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That part of a pedestal included between the base and the cornice (or surbase); the die. See Illust. of column.
  • n. In any wall, that part of the basement included between the base and the base course. See Base course, under base.
  • n. In interior decoration, the lower part of the wall of an apartment when adorned with moldings, or otherwise specially decorated.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To groove.
  • To insert in a groove, as the end of a shelf into its upright.
  • n. In architecture: That part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice; the die.
  • n. The finishing of the lower part of the walls in the interior of a house, made somewhat to represent the dado of a pedestal, and consisting frequently of a skirting of wood about 3 feet high. The dado is also sometimes represented by wallpaper, India matting, or some textile fabric, or by painting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cut a dado into or fit into a dado
  • v. provide with a dado
  • n. the section of a pedestal between the base and the surbase
  • n. panel forming the lower part of an interior wall when it is finished differently from the rest of the wall
  • n. a rectangular groove cut into a board so that another piece can fit into it

Etymologies

Italian, from Latin datum, neuter past participle of dare, to give.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1664. From Italian dado. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "He holds his head back warily, defiantly, on his shoulders, so that the furnishings in this house won't get the better of him: the dado with its raised pattern of diamonds under thick brown paint, the polished wood of the hall stand, the yellow gleams of brass among the shadows—the face of the clock, a rack for letters, a little gong hanging in a frame with a suède-covered mallet balanced across two hooks, a tall pot to hold umbrellas."
    "The Trojan Prince" by Tessa Hadley, in The New Yorker, November 15, 2010, page 77

    November 16, 2010

  • "Magnificent historic federation home set on 45 productive acres in a private setting. The home has been restored to its former glory with baltic pine ceilings, dados and Tassie oak flooring."
    - Emu Bay Realty, advertisement, cited 14 Feb 2009.

    February 14, 2009

  • the part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice

    February 9, 2007