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

  • n. A long lock or ringlet of hair.
  • n. Archaic A plait or braid of hair.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A braid, knot, or curl, of hair; a ringlet.
  • n. A knot or festoon, as of flowers.
  • v. To braid or knot hair.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A braid, knot, or curl, of hair; a ringlet.
  • n. Fig.: A knot or festoon, as of flowers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish with or form into tresses: chiefly in the past participle used adjectively.
  • n. A plait, braid, lock, or curl of hair; any distinct portion of the hair of the head, especially when long; in the plural, the hair of the head, especially when growing abundantly.
  • n. An obsolete form of trace.
  • n. A dialectal variant of trest.
  • n. A termination of some feminine nouns. See -ess .

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

  • n. a hairdo formed by braiding or twisting the hair


Middle English tresse, from Old French, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *trichia, tricia, rope, braid, from Greek trikhiā, rope, from thrix, trikh-, hair.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French tresce, of uncertain origin; possibly from Vulgar Latin *trichia < Ancient Greek. Compare French tresse, Italian treccia. (Wiktionary)


  • Details include pleats, tucks and beads to sheer layers in tulle, chiffon and it a season of the "tress" - a cross between a dress and a tunic, and it epitomizes the lightness of spring. Chronicle

  • Rock goads guys in a barbershop into talking about the limbs they'd likely lose if they ever tried to touch their girlfriends 'hair, and encourages women to comb through all sorts of what you might call "tress" - ful intimacy issues - when to take a shower together, the awkwardness of what one of them calls "weave sex," and so on.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Saugen moved, lifting to a sitting position on his mis'tress's chest.

    The Metrognome and Other Stories

  • Her lithe graceful figure, her fine, small, chiselled features, her shapely little head rather defiantly set on her sloping shoulders, her fair complexion and clear hazel eyes, her brown golden hair gathered up behind into a kind of tress, all these were Saxon rather than Celtic.

    Ireland Under Coercion (2nd ed.) (1 of 2) (1888)

  • Over by the tress are a bunch of bugs, so it's not really fun when you get to inhale them. " -

  • Instead of getting all vexed, Scooby and Shaggy-style, they should have thanked his blonde temp ... tress (Ali Larter doing a bargain basement impression of Sharon Stone at her most bargain basement) for adding some excitement to their lives.


  • But apparently my son is a martyr, for he would rather be tortured tress-less, pinched peau*-less, than give in to a couple of raging and aging opponents.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • Wood is free if you own all the forests and have enslaved all the labor required to process to turn tress into something more functional.

    Matthew Yglesias » No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition

  • On the one hand, it seems such a downright, dirty, party foul to squelch out the natural and splendid sounds of nature -- the babbling brook, the wind through the tress, the chirping birds, etc. -- in favor of electronic audio.

    Fishing with an iPod... Fair or Foul?

  • The look popped up at Prabal Gurung (glossed-over pony tails were clipped mid-mane); Cynthia Rowley (big metallic versions made modern chignons) and Carolina Herrera, where tress guru Orlando Pita created fanciful clips out of human hair.

    Barrettes: Dowdy No More


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  • Courtesy of Vexamples: Over by the tress are a bunch of bugs, so it's not really fun when you get to inhale them.

    November 18, 2009