Definitions

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

  • n. A thin strip of wood or metal, usually nailed in rows to framing supports as a substructure for plaster, shingles, slates, or tiles.
  • n. A building material, such as a sheet of metal mesh, used for similar purposes.
  • n. A quantity of laths; lathing.
  • n. Work made with or from lath.
  • transitive v. To build, cover, or line with laths.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A thin, narrow strip, fastened to the rafters, studs, or floor beams of a building, for the purpose of supporting a covering of tiles, plastering, etc.
  • v. To cover or line with laths.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A thin, narrow strip of wood, nailed to the rafters, studs, or floor beams of a building, for the purpose of supporting the tiles, plastering, etc. A corrugated metallic strip or plate is sometimes used.
  • transitive v. To cover or line with laths.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cover or line with or as with laths.
  • n. A thin narrow strip of wood, used in building to form the groundwork for a roof or for the plastering of walls and ceilings.
  • n. The bow-part of a crossbow.
  • n. See lathe.
  • n. In mining, one of the sharpened planks driven in advance of the excavation in sinking shafts in loose ground. See forepale, 2.

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

  • n. a narrow thin strip of wood used as backing for plaster or to make latticework

Etymologies

Middle English latthe, probably alteration (influenced by Welsh llath, rod) of Old English lætt.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English laththe, earlier lathe, altered from Old English lætt, from Proto-Germanic *laþþō (cf. Dutch lat, German Latte) from Proto-Indo-European *(s)lat- (cf. Welsh llath 'rod, wand, yard'). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Pondicherry is about four leagues in extent; the houses are built with brick, but the Indians use only wood, in the manner which we call lath and plaster.

    Narrative of a Voyage to India; of a Shipwreck on board the Lady Castlereagh; and a Description of New South Wales

  • Why, tossing the remaining lath from the reno over the side of the deck, picking it up at the bottom, and loading it into garbage cans to take out to the bin, of course.

    Leisure Sucks

  • In traditional plaster over wire lath construction in the US there doesn't seem to be the concern, but this could be because the wire lath is probably galvanized, and there's three layers of plaster (scratch, brown, and finish coats) used.

    Building Projects Updates for 4 October 2003

  • In one corner of the room he pried up the tiles of the flooring for the space of a square foot, and cut away the planking underneath, leaving nothing but some thin lath and plaster between them and the room below.

    Jacqueline of the Carrier-Pigeons

  • (And for those of you who feel inclined to tell me I shouldn't be doing this stuff, I add: lath is very lightweight, and I was being aware to stop when I felt like I was getting warm and to drink lots.

    Leisure Sucks

  • · Expanded metal lath, which is formed by slitting thin gauge sheets and expanding them in the direction perpendicular to the slits, has about the same strength as welded mesh, but is stiffer and hence provides better impact resistance and better crack control.

    Chapter 4

  • To the little boy the lath is a horse, to the older boy it becomes a sword.

    Ontario Normal School Manuals: Science of Education

  • When hung in this manner five or six plants to the lath are the usual number unless they are very large.

    Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce

  • But plastering required strips of horizontal wood (called lath) nailed as a backup across studs, and then several coats to create a smooth surface.

    chicagotribune.com -

  • "Sir Tig --" she exclaimed and put her finger to her lips just in time to stop the "lath" from coming out.

    The Prophet of Berkeley Square

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