Definitions

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

  • n. A narrow strip or band of fine fabric, such as satin or velvet, finished at the edges and used for trimming, tying, or finishing.
  • n. Something, such as a tape measure, that resembles a ribbon.
  • n. A long thin strip: a ribbon of land along the shore.
  • n. Tattered or ragged strips: a dress torn to ribbons.
  • n. An inked strip of cloth used for making an impression, as in a typewriter.
  • n. A band of colored cloth signifying membership in an order or the award of a prize.
  • n. A strip of colored cloth worn on the left breast of a uniform to indicate the award of a medal or decoration.
  • n. Informal Reins for driving horses.
  • n. See ledger board.
  • transitive v. To decorate or tie with ribbons.
  • transitive v. To tear into ribbons or shreds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long, narrow strip of material used for decoration of clothing or the hair or gift wrapping.
  • n. An inked strip of material against which type is pressed to print letters in a typewriter or printer.
  • n. A toolbar that incorporates tabs and menus.
  • n. In ice cream and similar confections, an ingredient (often chocolate, butterscotch, caramel, or fudge) added in a long narrow strip.
  • v. To decorate with ribbon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fillet or narrow woven fabric, commonly of silk, used for trimming some part of a woman's attire, for badges, and other decorative purposes.
  • n. A narrow strip or shred
  • n. Same as Rib-band.
  • n. Driving reins.
  • n. A bearing similar to the bend, but only one eighth as wide.
  • n. A silver.
  • transitive v. To adorn with, or as with, ribbons; to mark with stripes resembling ribbons.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Originally, a stripe in a material, or the band or border of a garment, whether woven in the stuff or applied.
  • n. A strip of fine stuff, as silk, satin, or velvet, having two selvages.
  • n. Specifically, the honorary distinction of an order of knighthood, usually in two forms: first, the broad ribbon, denoting the highest class of such an order (for which see cordon, 7); second, the small knot of ribbon worn in the buttonhole by members of an order when not wearing the cross or other badge.
  • n. That which resembles a ribbon in shape; a long and narrow strip of anything.
  • n. plural Reins for driving.
  • n. A strip; a shred: as, the sails were torn to ribbons.
  • n. In spinning, a continuous strand of cotton or other fiber in a loose, untwisted condition; a sliver.
  • n. In metal-working, a long, thin strip of metal, such as a watch-spring
  • n. a thin steel band for a belt, or an endless saw
  • n. a thin band of magnesium for burning
  • n. a thin steel strip for measuring, resembling a tape-line.
  • n. One of the stripes painted on arrow-shafts, generally around the shaftment. Also called clan-mark, owner-mark, game-tally, etc.
  • n. A narrow web of silk for hand-stamps, saturated with free color, which is readily transferred by pressure to paper.
  • n. In stained-glass work and the like, a strip or thin bar of lead grooved to hold the edges of the glass. See lead, 7.
  • n. In heraldry, a bearing considered usually as one of the subordinaries. It is a diminutive of the bend, and one eighth of its width.
  • n. In carpentry, a long thin strip of wood, or a series of such strips, uniting several parts. Compare rib-band.
  • n. Nautical, a painted molding on the side of a ship.
  • n. Figuratively, anything which marks the attainment of an object of ambition; also, the object itself.
  • n. A member of the Order of the Garter.
  • n. The badge of a society pledged to total abstinence from the use of intoxicating drinks: it consists of a bit of blue ribbon worn in a buttonhole.
  • n. The ribbon of a knight of the Legion of Honor.
  • Made of ribbon: as, a ribbon bow; ribbon trimming.
  • In mineralogy, characterized by parallel bands of different colors: as, ribbon agate.
  • [capitalized] Pertaining to the Ribbon Society or to Ribbonism: as, a Ribbon lodge.
  • To border with stripes resembling ribbons; stripe; streak.
  • To adorn with ribbons.
  • To form into long narrow strips; cause to take the shape of ribbon.
  • To stretch into long strips like ribbons: sometimes with out, as soap at one stage of its manufacture.
  • n. The banding in slates due to the preservation of the original bedding, which may be related to the cleavage at any angle.

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

  • n. an award for winning a championship or commemorating some other event
  • n. a long strip of inked material for making characters on paper with a typewriter
  • n. any long object resembling a thin line
  • n. notion consisting of a narrow strip of fine material used for trimming

Etymologies

Middle English ribban, riban, from Old French ruban, probably of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French riban (French: ruban). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • What?

    November 20, 2009

  • the beast...pig...oink...oink

    November 20, 2009

  • If I were a minstrel I'd sing you six love songs
    To tell the whole world of the love that we share
    If I were a merchant I'd bring you six diamonds
    With six blood red roses for my love to wear
    But I am a simple man, a poor common farmer
    So take my six ribbons to tie back your hair

    May 29, 2009

  • tear you to ribbons

    April 16, 2009

  • Captured at Yorktown: 27 "pieces" ribbon, as well as 1860 ells of ribbon.

    October 29, 2007