1. a braid, especially of hair or straw.
  2. a pleat or fold, as of cloth.

verb (used with object)

  1. to braid, as hair or straw.
  2. to make, as a mat, by braiding.
  3. to pleat.


  1. a length of hair, ribbon, etc, that has been plaited
  2. (in Britain) a loaf of bread of several twisting or intertwining parts
  3. a rare spelling of pleat


  1. (tr) to intertwine (strands or strips) in a pattern

v.late 14c., “to fold, gather in pleats,” also “to braid or weave,” from Old French pleir “to fold,” variant of ploier, ployer “to fold, bend,” from Latin plicare “to fold” (see ply (v.1)). Related: Plaited; plaiting. n.c.1400, “a fold, a crease,” from Anglo-French pleit, Old French ploit, earlier pleit, “fold, manner of folding,” from Latin plicatus, past participle of plicare “to lay, fold, twist” (see ply (v.1)). Meaning “interlaced strands of hair, ribbon, etc.” is from 1520s, perhaps from plait (v.).

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