Definition of plait in English:


Line breaks: plait
Pronunciation: /plat


1British A single length of hair, straw, rope, or other material made up of three or more interlaced strands: she wore her dark hair in plaits
More example sentences
  • There was a room full of women's hair, and amongst the hair was a single plait, like Sally has sometimes.
  • She looked so pretty, clad in a cornflower blue silk dress that matched her eyes, and wearing her hair in a complex plait; tiny ringlets framing her face.
  • Black strands were falling from her firm plait of hair, and her face looked ashen in the firelight.
2 archaic term for pleat.
More example sentences
  • The long train skirt is in a plait and trimmed up the aides with lace to the wrist and on in shell shape.


[with object] Back to top  
1Form (hair, straw, rope, or other material) into a plait or plaits: her hair had been plaited and coiled at the back of her head
More example sentences
  • He gently combed the tangles out of her hair and deftly plaited a long simple braid.
  • He had long coarse grey hair that was plaited in a braid down his back.
  • Her silky dark hair had been plaited into ten different braids, and then coiled together on top of her head.
1.1Make (something) by forming material into a plait or plaits: a basket plaited from strips of flax
More example sentences
  • This enables him to survey his ambitious narrative with the splendid omniscience he needs to plait the supple strands of his plot with all the skills of an Egyptian basket weaver.
  • The ceremony took various forms, but most ended with the sheaf being taken back to the farm where it was plaited into an intricate ‘corn dolly’ or ‘mell doll’.
  • Children plait them, knot them, and turn them into anything from friendship bracelets to tiny dragons.


late Middle English: from Old French pleit 'a fold', based on Latin plicare 'to fold'. The word was formerly often pronounced like ‘plate’; since late Middle English there has been an alternative spelling plat, to which the current pronunciation corresponds.

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