from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A cord or ribbon used to draw and tie together two opposite edges, as of a shoe.
  • noun A delicate fabric made of yarn or thread in an open weblike pattern.
  • noun Gold or silver braid ornamenting an officer's uniform.
  • intransitive verb To thread a cord through the eyelets or around the hooks of.
  • intransitive verb To draw together and tie the laces of.
  • intransitive verb To restrain or constrict by tightening laces, especially of a corset.
  • intransitive verb To pull or pass through; intertwine.
  • intransitive verb To trim or decorate with or as if with lace.
  • intransitive verb To add a touch of flavor to.
  • intransitive verb To add a substance, especially an intoxicant or narcotic, to.
  • intransitive verb To add or intersperse with something in order to produce a certain effect.
  • intransitive verb To streak with color.
  • intransitive verb To give a beating to; thrash.
  • intransitive verb To be fastened or tied with laces or a lace.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A machine-made lace of coarse cotton thread.
  • noun A pillow-lace with geometric designs.
  • To catch, as in a net or gin; entrap; insnare.
  • To secure by means of a lace or laces; especially, to draw tight and close by a lace, the ends of which are then tied: as, to lace a shoe.
  • To adorn with lace, braid, or galloon: as, a laced waistcoat.
  • To cover with intersecting streaks; streak.
  • To mark with the lash; beat; lash.
  • To intermix, as coffee or other beverage, with spirits: as, a cup of coffee laced with a drop of brandy.
  • To interlace; intertwine.
  • To be fastened or tied by a lace; have a lace: as, shoes or a bandage made to lace in front.
  • To practise tight lacing.
  • noun A noose; snare; net.
  • noun A cord or string used in binding or fastening; specifically, a cord or string used for drawing together opposite edges, as of a corset, a bodice, a shoe, or the like, by being passed out and in through holes and fastened.
  • noun Hence, any ornamental cord or braid used as an edging or trimming, especially when made of gold or silver thread. See gold lace, below—4. A fabric of fine threads of linen, silk, or cotton, whether twisted or plaited together or worked like embroidery, or made by a combination of these processes, or (as at the present time) by machinery.
  • noun Spirits added to coffee or other beverage.
  • noun A stringer; beam.
  • noun A blaek-silk lace, in demand because made in unusually large pieces, as for shawls, fichus, etc.
  • noun Buckingham trolly (which see, under trolly), and
  • noun a lace having a point ground, which is peculiar in having the pattern outlined with, thicker threads, these threads being weighted by bobbins larger and heavier than the rest.
  • noun At the presentday, the finest Brussels lace, where needle-point sprigs are applied to Brussels bubbin-ground. See application-lace, above.
  • noun A general name for Valenciennes made in Belgium.
  • noun Same as bobbin-lace.
  • noun A white pillow-lace, originally made at Grammont in Belgium.
  • noun A black-silk lace like blond-lace.
  • noun In the seventeenth century, a guipure, more delicate in texture and varied in design than other guipures.
  • noun At the present day, an application lace, made of sprigs of bobbin-lace sewed upon grounds often made elsewhere, especially of the Alençon réseau.
  • noun Lace which has been whitened. See powder, v. t.
  • noun Cut and drawn work made in convents in Spain, of patterns usually confined to simple sprigs and flowers
  • noun A modern black silk lace with large flower patterns, mostly of Flemish make
  • noun A modern needle-made fabric, the pattern usually in large squares.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To be fastened with a lace, or laces.
  • noun That which binds or holds, especially by being interwoven; a string, cord, or band, usually one passing through eyelet or other holes, and used in drawing and holding together parts of a garment, of a shoe, of a machine belt, etc.
  • noun obsolete A snare or gin, especially one made of interwoven cords; a net.


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

[Middle English, from Old French las, noose, string, from Vulgar Latin *laceum, from Latin laqueus, noose; probably akin to lacere, to entice, ensnare.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French las, from Vulgar Latin *laceum, based on Latin laqueus.


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  • If you did both ends and knit you'd have to graft, grafting in lace is not my strong point!

    The Ides of March Jean 2009

  • Convincing a spider to spin lace is far more difficult.

    Valentines, part the first mllelaurel 2009

  • I've got cotton sox trimmed in lace from the Victorian Trading Co. that I wear to bed.

    Same Pattern, 2nd Dress 2009

  • I had invented what we called lace locks, and in the IV we did an elaboration on the theme.


  • I had invented what we called lace locks, and in the IV we did an elaboration on the theme.


  • I had invented what we called lace locks, and in the IV we did an elaboration on the theme.


  • Newspaper paragraphs will begin thus: "The lovely wearer of the lace is about thirty-four years of age, but looks much older – in fact, nearly as antique as her own flounces," etc., etc.

    Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910 Maud Howe Elliott 1915

  • Additionally, I'm an 82-year-old widow in lace-up orthopedic shoes who spends a lot of time on the subway happily going about her business.

    Public officials have an obligation to do more for people with vision loss Sheila Solomon Klass 2010

  • But a future without complicated Shetland lace is bleak.

    Archive 2009-03-01 Jean 2009

  • It struck me this morning that a large piece of lace is a deliberate construction of a series of lights and shadows.

    Jean's Knitting Jean 2009


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  • I met a man today

    He told me something pretty strange

    There's always somebody saying something

    He said, "The world is as soft as lace."

    (I don't love anyone, by Belle and Sebastian)

    August 6, 2008

  • Compare lasso.

    December 20, 2018