Definition of lace in English:


Line breaks: lace
Pronunciation: /leɪs


  • 2 (usually laces) A cord or leather strip passed through eyelets or hooks on opposite sides of a shoe or garment and then pulled tight and fastened: brown shoes with laces
    More example sentences
    • She found a thick leather vest and put it on top of the shirt, pulling the laces tight.
    • Wyatt said he pulled the laces out of two pairs of shoes and he and Rattigan both tied her up.
    • As she pulled at the laces of the tight whalebone corset, she gave a little gasp.
    shoelace, bootlace, shoestring, lacing, string, cord, thong, twine, tie
    archaic latchet


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Fasten or tighten (a shoe or garment) by tying the laces: he put the shoes on and laced them up
    More example sentences
    • Marshall was lacing his shoes when his brother came in and jumped onto the end of his bed.
    • I situated myself down on the arm of the couch, now fully dressed as I laced my sneakers up.
    • She quickly finished lacing her shoes and looked outside and saw the town as it normally was at dawn.
    fasten, do up, tie up, secure; bind, knot, truss
  • 1.1Tighten a laced corset around the waist of: Rosina laced her up tight to show off her neat waist
  • 1.2 (lace someone into) Fasten someone into (a garment) by tightening the laces: she couldn’t breathe, laced into this frock
    More example sentences
    • The Widow is a corset which the young Edmund is required to lace her into.
    • I have a steel-boned underbust corset that I can wear for you too, or I can bring it along for you to lace me into.
    • Next, a scruffy-looking student enthusiastically volunteered to lace him into a straightjacket and secure him with padlocks and chains.
  • 1.3 [no object] (Of a garment or shoe) be fastened by means of laces: the shoes laced at the front
    More example sentences
    • A shoe that laces will allow for adjustment across this area.
    • I also had my knee length combat boots that laced up in the front.
    • The bodice laced up in the front with cream-colored ribbon, which tied off at the waist.
  • 2 [with object and adverbial] Entwine (things, especially fingers) together: she laced her fingers together
    More example sentences
    • Subjects laced their fingers together and placed their hands at the back of their head.
    • Cris grinned at her and hopped up onto the couch, lacing his fingers together as he winked.
    • He laced his fingers together under his head and crossed his legs, looking at her.
  • 2.1 (lace something through) Pass a lace or cord through (a hole): he laced the twine through the eyelets and pulled it tight
    More example sentences
    • She tied her pocket closed with jute twine by lacing it through holes she punched in the corners.
    • You could take black satin ribbon and lace it through the big stitches for extra effect.
    • Running decklines through the loops of these device requires the kayak operator to unlash the decklines and lace them through the loops, then re-lash the lines.
  • 3 (usually be laced with) Add an ingredient, especially alcohol, to (a drink or dish) to enhance its flavour or strength: coffee laced with brandy
    More example sentences
    • It may arise where the accused is drugged by others or his drink is laced with alcohol.
    • When I was ill, our butler caught Charles lacing my tea with some sort of substance.
    • Noah had calmed down after a couple of drinks, mainly coffee laced with alcohol.
    flavour, mix (in), blend, fortify, strengthen, stiffen, season, spice (up), imbue, infuse, enrich, enliven, liven up; doctor, adulterate, contaminate, drug
    informal spike, boost
  • 3.1Give (something) a large amount or degree of a feature or quality: the script is laced with expletives his voice was laced with derision

Phrasal verbs

lace into

informal Attack verbally or physically: Brady laced into his teammates for playing with a lack of passion
More example sentences
  • One group he laces into is the Royal Society - its astronomers, physicists, and mathematicians.
set upon, fall on, attack, assault, assail, beat, thrash, tear into, turn on, set about, lash out at, round on, drub, thump, batter, hammer, pummel, hit out at, strike out at, (let) fly at, weigh into, belabour
British informal have a go at


Middle English: from Old French laz, las (noun), lacier (verb), based on Latin laqueus 'noose' (also an early sense in English). Compare with lasso.

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Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman