noun, often attributive
her·​ring·​bone | \ ˈher-iŋ-ˌbōn How to pronounce herringbone (audio) , ˈhe-riŋ- \

Definition of herringbone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pattern made up of rows of parallel lines which in any two adjacent rows slope in opposite directions
2a : a twilled fabric with a herringbone pattern also : a suit made of this fabric
b : a herringbone arrangement (as of materials or parts)
3 : a method in skiing of ascending a slope by herringboning


herringboned; herringboning; herringbones

Definition of herringbone (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to produce a herringbone pattern on
2 : to arrange in a herringbone pattern

intransitive verb

1 : to produce a herringbone pattern
2 : to ascend a slope by toeing out on skis and placing the weight on the inner side

Illustration of herringbone

Illustration of herringbone


herringbone 1

In the meaning defined above

Examples of herringbone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Windows overlook Grand Army Plaza and Fifth Avenue below, and wide-plank herringbone floors run throughout the residence. Helena Madden, Robb Report, 18 Oct. 2021 Throughout the apartment are light oak floors in a herringbone pattern, oversize windows and nearly 10-foot ceilings. Vivian Marino, New York Times, 15 Oct. 2021 The color of the roof mimics chocolate and below it, bricks angle into a tight herringbone pattern. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 25 Sep. 2021 New herringbone bamboo floors are a nod to Parisian parlors. Maria V. Charbonneaux And Liz Strong, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Sep. 2021 After settling on the herringbone brick floor, DeLaney knew adding more tile to the backsplash would detract from the overall look. Blake Miller, House Beautiful, 7 Sep. 2021 This herringbone pumpkin is a beautiful nod to fall, but will still blend well really well with the rest of my home. Christina Butan, PEOPLE.com, 18 Sep. 2021 Durable brick flooring in an elegant herringbone pattern are coupled with sleek custom cabinetry by Artisan Cabinetry and oversize rattan pendant lights from Jeffan. Blake Miller, House Beautiful, 7 Sep. 2021 Starting at the corners, lay out the tile in a herringbone pattern. Beth Eslinger, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'herringbone.' 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 herringbone


1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1787, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for herringbone

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The first known use of herringbone was in 1659

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Dictionary Entries Near herringbone



herringbone bond

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Herringbone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herringbone. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of herringbone

: a pattern used on cloth that consists of rows of parallel lines that slant in opposite directions to form V shapes


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