Definition of herringbone in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈheriNGˌbōn/


[usually as modifier]
Image of herringbone
1An arrangement or design consisting of columns of short parallel lines, with all the lines in one column sloping one way and all the lines in the next column sloping the other way so as to resemble the bones in a fish, used especially in the weave of cloth or the placing of bricks: a brown wool herringbone jacket
More example sentences
  • Satin is used in a host of applications, while the fashionable tweed and herringbone patterns in wool fabrics likewise seek sheen.
  • And look to menswear-inspired tweeds, checks and herringbone patterns for added panache.
  • This fall you'll see rich fabrics such as wool, tweed and herringbone in colors like burgundy, navy, brown, and beige.
1.1 (also herringbone stitch) A cross-stitch with a pattern resembling herringbone, used in embroidery or for securing an edge.
Example sentences
  • The outfit at the Guildhall was an oyster silk basket-weave coat with herringbone stitch embroidery and a chiffon dress with appliqué woven lacquered disc detail.
  • This herringbone stitch looks deceptively easy to knit, as you are knitting and purling on both sides of the fabric, it can get a bit fiddly and tricky, since the pattern is difficult to read from the pattern.
  • Woven reeds, grasses and bamboos perfectly complement tailored herringbone-edge bindings.
2 Skiing A method of ascending a slope by walking forward in alternate steps with each ski angled outward.
Example sentences
  • Ski instruction, taught to officers by civilians, included herringbone climbing, kick turns, pole-jumping over logs and snowplows.
  • Giving up on V-1, I resorted to a herringbone climb.
  • When the hill gets too steep, the snow too deep, or the herringbone too tiring, it is time to side step.


1 [with object] Mark with a herringbone pattern.
Example sentences
  • Some of the walls were herringboned with neat chisel marks from the old days, beautiful under the flashlight's beam.
  • Once its wide streets were herringboned with utes and Holdens and Fords parked in the pepper-tree shade.
1.1Work with a herringbone stitch.
2 [no object] Skiing Ascend a slope using the herringbone technique: we learned how to herringbone up the hills and swoosh down them
More example sentences
  • He promptly herringboned up a nearby slope and came down, making a nice-looking turn on the way.
  • Steep narrow hills, barely wide enough to herringbone, were followed by quick descents onto icy lakes.
  • After herringboning up the powdery side of Sentinal Dome, we skied over to a rocky outcrop where a scraggly old tree clung to the rocks.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: her·ring·bone

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