Battenberg lace

variants: or

Battenburg lace

Definition of Battenberg lace

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of battenberg lace

probably after the Battenberg family, a morganatic branch of the ducal house of Hesse-Darmstadt, members of whom established careers in Britain or married into the British royal family (after Battenberg, a town in Hesse, Germany) In early occurrences as “Royal Battenberg lace” (e.g., Good Housekeeping, vol. 11, no. 13, October 25, 1890, p. 301; Atlantic Monthly, vol. 68, no. 405, July, 1891, p. 85). Evidence that the lace has any real connection with the Battenberg family is lacking, suggesting that the word was chosen solely for its connotations.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Battenberg lace? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to help become familiar with something

Get Word of the Day daily email!