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her·​ring·​bone ˈher-iŋ-ˌbōn How to pronounce herringbone (audio)
often attributive
: a pattern made up of rows of parallel lines which in any two adjacent rows slope in opposite directions
: a twilled fabric with a herringbone pattern
also : a suit made of this fabric
: a herringbone arrangement (as of materials or parts)
: a method in skiing of ascending a slope by herringboning

Illustration of herringbone

Illustration of herringbone
  • herringbone 1


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herringboned; herringboning; herringbones

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Nestled under a bridge in Dallas’ Harwood District is Magnolias Sous Le Pont, a moody French coffee shop with herringbone floors and seasonal drinks like the salted caramel mocha and lavender latte. Dallas News, 28 Sep. 2022 The kitchen is both polished and welcoming, thanks to custom but unpretentious millwork, like the herringbone floors. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 20 Dec. 2022 Compared to the other two Lescaze townhouses (especially the Kramer House, which has been split up into three duplex units that now have kitchen islands and herringbone floors), the Norman House has stayed the most true to Lescaze’s original vision. Jenny Xie, Curbed, 18 Mar. 2022 In this kitchen designed by Cate Dunning, glossy tiles in a herringbone pattern contrast with the matte greige painted cabinets and the dark stone counters. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 22 Dec. 2022 For a sophisticated twist, these are installed in a herringbone pattern. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Dec. 2022 The cabinetry and herringbone floors in the family room are original to the apartment. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, 24 Nov. 2022 Combining the iconic herringbone pattern together with benchmark silk fabrication, this teal tie will work wonders dressed up or down. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 29 Nov. 2022 On the first level, the floor is porcelain tile in a herringbone pattern laid in pairs. Libertina Brandt, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2022
The individual condos will have herringbone white-oak floors and large windows. Helena Madden, Robb Report, 17 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use


1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1787, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of herringbone was in 1659

Dictionary Entries Near herringbone

Cite this Entry

“Herringbone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herringbone. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a pattern of rows of parallel lines with every other row slanting in the opposite direction
: a fabric with a herringbone pattern
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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