\ ˈbrād \
braided; braiding; braids

Definition of braid

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make from braids braid a rug
b : to form (three or more strands) into a braid
2 : to do up (the hair) by interweaving three or more strands
3 : mix, intermingle braid fact with fiction
4 : to ornament especially with ribbon or braid



Definition of braid (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a length of braided hair
b : a cord or ribbon having usually three or more component strands forming a regular diagonal pattern down its length especially : a narrow fabric of intertwined threads used especially for trimming
2 : high-ranking naval officers

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Other Words from braid


braider noun

Synonyms for braid

Synonyms: Verb

plait, plat, pleat

Synonyms: Noun

lace, lacing, plait, plat

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Examples of braid in a Sentence


She braids her hair every morning. they taught each other how to braid yarn into bracelets


a hat trimmed with braid until she was 15, she had a braid that reached to her knees
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Police described her as approximately 5 feet tall and 140 pounds with black, long, braided hair, brown eyes, and wearing braces. Amanda Kaufman,, "Cambridge police search for missing 16-year-old girl," 13 June 2018 Two charming angels, poised as if ready to dance, are lifting the folds of a tent to reveal the standing Virgin, a country girl with an impassive, even haughty air, her golden hair braided tightly and wrapped atop her head. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "On the Brink of the Savior’s Arrival," 12 Oct. 2018 Mongolian lamb's wool pillow, felt baskets (discontinued), braided storage basket—West Elm (R); House Beautiful, "May 2012 Issue Product Guide," 18 Mar. 2012 The singer has actually been braiding hair for most of his life. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "This Picture of Shawn Mendes Braiding Camila Cabello’s Hair Is Too Precious For Words," 10 Dec. 2018 Over the weekend, Camila shared a wholesome image of Shawn braiding her hair. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Shawn Mendes Braided Camila Cabello’s Hair While Backstage," 10 Dec. 2018 Value: bkr Paris Water Balm, $22 Noah Centineo Tries 9 Things He's Never Done Before Noah Centineo tries nine things he's never done before, from braiding a fan's hair and making a pizza, to doing an Elvis impersonation and straightening his hair. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, "The October 2018 Allure Beauty Box," 1 Oct. 2018 During school days, girls used to braid his hair into one big braid. Kimberly Albrecht,, "Column: Barrington Hills kid hopes others will follow after growing out hair for cause," 23 May 2018 Her hair was pulled back in two braided pony tails the last time she was seen. Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root, "Ransom Text Sent To Relatives Of Missing Michigan Child," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

She was even scared that clients would turn her down because of her braids. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Model Salem Mitchell Is Sick of Black Women's Hairstyles Being Labeled "Ghetto"," 13 July 2018 In May, the US Navy finally lifted its ban on a number of hairstyles often worn by black women, such as locs and French braids. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Bantu knots are the latest natural hairstyle at the center of a workplace dispute," 20 Dec. 2018 Visual learners will appreciate the way the steps for this unique braid blanket are shot. Madison Alcedo, Country Living, "5 Easy DIY Tutorials for That Viral Chunky Knit Blanket," 12 Dec. 2018 Now, of course, name braids are hardly a new innovation., "Alexander Wang Just Reintroduced The World To Personalized Cornrows," 4 June 2018 The thicket of dark hair that trails behind her is perpetually slicked back in a long braid or ponytail that punctuates her visage, yet makes for a powerful profile. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "At 60, Sade’s Signature Beauty Is More Timeless Than Ever Before," 16 Jan. 2019 Facing outcry on social media, a Kentucky school suspended its hair policy that prohibited dreadlocks, cornrows, hair twists and braids. Aaron Randle, kansascity, "Teen says he wasn't hired because of his dreadlocks. That's legal, but is it right? | The Kansas City Star," 6 Apr. 2018 With her small stature, a waist-length braid is quite a statement — and of course, the star is pulling it off. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Jennifer Lopez Shows Off Her "Bronx Barbie" Look and Baby Hair on Instagram," 8 Oct. 2018 Faith's brother posted a Facebook video that showed the girl, her braids pulled back and hanging just below the neckline, dejectedly leaving school with family members in late August. Kevin Mcgill, Fox News, "Lawsuit over Louisiana school's hair policy is dismissed," 12 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'braid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of braid


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for braid


Middle English breyden to move suddenly, snatch, plait, from Old English bregdan; akin to Old High German brettan to draw (a sword)

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Dictionary Entries near braid






braided rug


Statistics for braid

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for braid

The first known use of braid was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for braid



English Language Learners Definition of braid

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to form (something, such as hair) into a braid : to weave together (three or more strands or parts of something)



English Language Learners Definition of braid (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly US : an arrangement of hair made by weaving three sections together
: a piece of cord or ribbon made of three or more strands woven together


\ ˈbrād \
braided; braiding

Kids Definition of braid

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to weave three strands together She braided her hair.



Kids Definition of braid (Entry 2 of 2)

: a length of cord, ribbon, or hair formed of three or more strands woven together

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More from Merriam-Webster on braid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with braid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for braid

Spanish Central: Translation of braid

Nglish: Translation of braid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of braid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on braid

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


a servile follower or underling

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