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 At the entryway and through the dining room, the original herringbone wood floors were restored and hearken back to the mid-century design. Dallas News, "Take a look at this 1960s Dallas home with a panoramic backyard view of White Rock Lake," 19 June 2020 Past an exterior of stucco and tile, the interiors blend original details such as herringbone floors and dramatic moldings with modern finishes such as marble bathrooms. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Marvel director Anthony Russo lists Pasadena’s famous Culbertson House for $6.25 million," 25 Sep. 2020 The outsole is herringbone patterned, which is designed to maximize traction. Christian Clark, NOLA.com, "Zion Williamson's Air Jordan shoes are once again Louisiana inspired: See photos here," 24 Sep. 2020 For a rustic French look, redo floors in an entryway or kitchen with terra-cotta tiles or herringbone brick. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "7 Simple Ways to Add French Style to Your Home," 31 Aug. 2020 The downstairs living area features a herringbone fireplace and glass doors leading to the backyard for indoor/outdoor living. Dallas News, "Summer is a ‘great time for deals,’ firm says," 5 July 2020 The wooly herringbone cloth (optional) on the seats is exquisitely soft and at the same time highly resistant to showing dirt. Patrick Bedard, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1977 Chevrolet Chevette Puts Price Before Performance," 17 Aug. 2020 Then there’s the second more recent addition, which makes a longer-legged U. Inside these three legs a courtyard paved with herringbone bricks forms protected outdoor space. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$1.25M Grosse Pointe Farms mansion has roof you don't see often," 1 Aug. 2020 Covering the floor is a blue stone tile floor, laid out in a herringbone pattern; the 1920s light fixture was sourced from Italy. Kate Reggev, House Beautiful, "A Cramped, 1940s Tudor Becomes a Welcoming, Parisian-Inspired Family Home," 15 July 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of herringbone


1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1787, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about herringbone

Time Traveler for herringbone

Time Traveler

The first known use of herringbone was in 1659

See more words from the same year

Statistics for herringbone

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Herringbone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herringbone. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for herringbone


How to pronounce herringbone (audio)

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

Comments on herringbone

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!