\ ˈbrād How to pronounce braid (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from braid


braider noun

Synonyms for braid

Synonyms: Verb

plait, plat, pleat

Synonyms: Noun

lace, lacing, plait, plat

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Parsons is also a wiz at structure — tastemaker Gordon Lish is thanked in the back pages — with stories that go long and deep, narratives braided, balanced by a few pieces that are only a few paragraphs of tightly coiled howl. Los Angeles Times, "Review: In ‘Black Light: Stories,’ Kimberly King Parsons serves up a big and wild Texas," 16 Aug. 2019 Styling options — get ready — include Dutch French braids, headband, crown and waterfall braids, Afro buns, cornrows and a pony and reverse French braided pigtails, phew. Kevin Williams,, "Lollapalooza 2019: Things we loved from day 4, but Ariana Grande was a pop star on autopilot," 4 Aug. 2019 The Good Reliable braided nylon cables that come in many connector options (USB-C to A, Lightening, etc). Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: Ars tested and found the best USB-C accessories you can get now," 25 July 2019 Today, people are still covering their hair, not washing their hair enough, braiding too tightly, wearing wigs and hairpieces and weaves too long so the hair is still damaged at the scalp. Essence, "Madam CJ And A’Lelia Walker Way In Harlem Is Finally Official," 22 July 2019 For her coronation, Sansa wore her signature red hair down—not braided, coiled, or curled. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sansa Stark's Finale Hairstyle Had a Queen Elizabeth I Connection," 20 May 2019 The Deets As any GoT fan—or, let’s be honest, any human living with social media—knows, Emilia Clarke plays one of the most pivotal characters on the HBO show who is known for two things: her dragons, and her long, braided, ice-blonde hair. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Emilia Clarke Says Going Blonde for 'Game of Thrones' Damaged Her Hair," 4 Sep. 2018 Our favorite braided charging cables (Photo: Anker) There's nothing worse than a fraying charging cable. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "These are Amazon's 5 best deals right now," 3 Apr. 2018 In a paper published in the January issue of Geobiology, Butterfield braided fluid dynamics and ecology to present his case for animals driving oxygenation instead of the other way around. Quanta Magazine, "Complex Animals Led to More Oxygen, Says Maverick Theory," 21 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The legs of the nylons stretch downward, ending in two dark braids that graze the rubble below. Sharon Mizota, Los Angeles Times, "For these 20 women artists, ‘Rapunzel’ and ‘Dyketactics’ are just the beginning," 16 Aug. 2019 These scanners are prone to false alarms toward hairstyles popular among black people, such as Afros and braids. Greses Perez, The Mercury News, "Opinion: How technology discriminates against half of our population," 16 Aug. 2019 In May, at a Cannes Film Festival photo call, Robbie romantically reimagined the hair look Tate wore to the event in 1968 with a neat center part and quartet of thin braids. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "From Lucy Boynton to Jorja Smith, Here’s How It Girls Are Embracing the ’60s Beauty Revival," 18 July 2019 One of Kate Middleton's looks at the event reminded several fans of the gorgeous braids from HBO's Game of Thrones, which ended its eight-season run last Sunday, the night before Kate stepped out wearing the hairstyle. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore Her Hair in a 'Game of Thrones'-Inspired Braid This Week," 25 May 2019 From a parade of platinum blonde to Tessa Thompson's whip of a braid, the Hollywood glam squads definitely outdid themselves this year. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "It Took Three Days and Countless Tests to Get Lady Gaga’s Gold Met Gala Eyelashes Just Right," 7 May 2019 Cole says that women today typically get perms to enhance their natural texture, whether that’s an S-pattern curl (think: taking your hair out of a braid) or an undone wave. Katie Berohn, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Modern Hair Perms," 30 Apr. 2019 In addition, the connections between juggling and the algebra of braids provide another way to analyze juggling. Jennifer Ouellette, Quanta Magazine, "The Mathematics of Juggling," 24 May 2017 Kathy Jordan was known around Purdue University as the gymnastics girl with the braids. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Purdue's first black cheerleader to try out, make squad blazed a trail that still lacks color," 13 July 2019

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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about braid

Dictionary Entries near braid






braided rug


Statistics for braid

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for braid

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce braid (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to make or get by devious means

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!