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

  • n. A cord or ribbon used to draw and tie together two opposite edges, as of a shoe.
  • n. A delicate fabric made of yarn or thread in an open weblike pattern. Also called lacework.
  • n. Gold or silver braid ornamenting an officer's uniform.
  • transitive v. To thread a cord through the eyelets or around the hooks of.
  • transitive v. To draw together and tie the laces of.
  • transitive v. To restrain or constrict by tightening laces, especially of a corset.
  • transitive v. To pull or pass through; intertwine: lace garlands through a trellis.
  • transitive v. To trim or decorate with or as if with lace.
  • transitive v. To add a touch of flavor to: "today's chefs love to lace their goods with lively, pronounced flavors” ( David Rosengarten).
  • transitive v. To add a substance, especially an intoxicant or narcotic, to: laced the eggnog with rum and brandy.
  • transitive v. To add or intersperse with something in order to produce a certain effect: "Quacks now lace their pitch with scientific terms that may sound authentic to the uninformed” ( Jane E. Brody).
  • transitive v. To streak with color.
  • transitive v. To give a beating to; thrash: laced his opponent in the second round.
  • intransitive v. To be fastened or tied with laces or a lace.
  • lace into Informal To attack; assail: laced into me for arriving so late.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A light fabric containing patterns of holes, usually built up from a single thread.
  • n. A cord or ribbon passed through eyelets in a shoe or garment, pulled tight and tied to fasten the shoe or garment firmly.
  • v. To fasten (something) with laces.
  • v. To add alcohol, poison, a drug or anything else potentially harmful to (food or drink).
  • v. To interweave items. (lacing one's fingers together)
  • v. To interweave the spokes of a bicycle wheel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. A snare or gin, especially one made of interwoven cords; a net.
  • n. A fabric of fine threads of linen, silk, cotton, etc., often ornamented with figures; a delicate tissue of thread, much worn as an ornament of dress.
  • n. Spirits added to coffee or some other beverage.
  • intransitive v. To be fastened with a lace, or laces.
  • transitive v. To fasten with a lace; to draw together with a lace passed through eyelet holes; to unite with a lace or laces, or, figuratively. with anything resembling laces.
  • transitive v. To adorn with narrow strips or braids of some decorative material.
  • transitive v. To beat; to lash; to make stripes on.
  • transitive v. To add something to (a food or beverage) so as to impart flavor, pungency, or some special quality.
  • transitive v. To twine or draw as a lace; to interlace; to intertwine.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. A noose; snare; net.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Spirits added to coffee or other beverage.
  • n. A stringer; beam.
  • n. A blaek-silk lace, in demand because made in unusually large pieces, as for shawls, fichus, etc.
  • n. Buckingham trolly (which see, under trolly), and
  • n. 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.
  • n. At the presentday, the finest Brussels lace, where needle-point sprigs are applied to Brussels bubbin-ground. See application-lace, above.
  • n. A general name for Valenciennes made in Belgium.
  • n. Same as bobbin-lace.
  • n. A white pillow-lace, originally made at Grammont in Belgium.
  • n. A black-silk lace like blond-lace.
  • n. In the seventeenth century, a guipure, more delicate in texture and varied in design than other guipures.
  • n. At the present day, an application lace, made of sprigs of bobbin-lace sewed upon grounds often made elsewhere, especially of the Alençon réseau.
  • n. Lace which has been whitened. See powder, v. t.
  • n. Cut and drawn work made in convents in Spain, of patterns usually confined to simple sprigs and flowers
  • n. A modern black silk lace with large flower patterns, mostly of Flemish make
  • n. A modern needle-made fabric, the pattern usually in large squares.
  • n. A machine-made lace of coarse cotton thread.
  • n. A pillow-lace with geometric designs.

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

  • v. add alcohol to (beverages)
  • v. spin,wind, or twist together
  • v. do lacework
  • v. make by braiding or interlacing
  • n. a cord that is drawn through eyelets or around hooks in order to draw together two edges (as of a shoe or garment)
  • v. draw through eyes or holes
  • n. a delicate decorative fabric woven in an open web of symmetrical patterns


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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  • 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