Definition of lace in English:


Syllabification: lace
Pronunciation: /lās


  • 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.
    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.


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Fasten or tighten (a shoe or garment) by tying its 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, knot
  • 1.1 (lace someone into) Fasten someone into (a garment) by tightening the laces: Morris laced Bill and David into boxing gloves
    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.
  • 1.2 (lace something through) Pass a lace or cord through (a hole).
    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.
  • 1.3Compress the waist of (someone) with a laced corset: Rosina laced her up tight to show off her neat, pretty waist
  • 1.4 [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.
  • 2Entwine or tangle (things, especially fingers) together: he laced his fingers together and sat back
    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.
    entwine, intertwine, twine, entangle, interweave, link; braid, plait
  • 3 (usually be laced with) Add an ingredient, especially alcohol, to (a drink or dish) to enhance its flavor or strength: he gave us coffee laced with brandy figurative his voice was laced with derision
    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.
    flavor, mix (in), blend, fortify, strengthen, stiffen, season, spice (up), enrich, liven up; doctor, adulterate
    informal spike
  • 4Hit (something, especially a baseball) hard: he laced a double down the first-base line
    More example sentences
    • But Bernie Williams further tormented Millar by lacing another double down the rightfield line, scoring two runs, both charged to Schilling's room.
    • Gary Sheffield led off, lacing a double down the leftfield line, and Hideki Matsui followed with a broken-bat single up the middle.
    • You can bring in a pitcher that has faced a guy who has gotten just one hit off him in 12 at-bats and the guy laces a double down the line.

Phrasal verbs

lace into

informal Assail or tackle (something): Marion laced into her opponent with a blistering criticism
More example sentences
  • One group he laces into is the Royal Society - its astronomers, physicists, and mathematicians.


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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