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

The restaurant, on the ground floor of residential tower Pierce Boston, is a space of dark wood, leather and velvet banquettes in chocolate and burgundy, and golden chandeliers; the floors are covered in tile mosaic and herringbone-pattern wood. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "A first visit to chef Tiffani Faison’s Orfano," 29 Aug. 2019 Try pairing the suit with darker accessories, like this navy herringbone tie, in order to offset the outfit's whimsy. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "10 Outfits Every Man Should Wear This Summer," 18 Apr. 2019 Each one of these smaller sections is finished with a different design of herringbone brick. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "1925 Royal Oak Tudor with servants quarters has been restored to perfection," 27 July 2019 The interior, by Brittainy Tiffany and her Tiffany Home Design team, is dressed in handwoven Hartmann&Forbes wallpaper, tile laid in a herringbone pattern and romantic chandeliers and sconce lighting. oregonlive.com, "2019 Street of Dreams: French country house with a striking copper porch roof," 6 Aug. 2019 He’s done some work since then, adding modern fixtures, Kentucky oak herringbone floors and a vintage phone booth. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "‘House of Cards’ producer Dana Brunetti quickly lands buyer for Toluca Lake abode," 26 July 2019 Jenn accented the space above the stove with a herringbone pattern, complete with a pot filler. Kelsey Murrietta, azcentral, "F-16 pilot and wife seek to put down roots in Scottsdale's DC Ranch. Take a look inside," 4 July 2019 Christina's strategy to bring the two styles together included a barn door (obvi), wooden herringbone floors, and a great use of color and texture in the master bathroom to complement both styles. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Christina Anstead Shows How to Mix Rustic and Modern Styles the New Episode of Christina on The Coast," 15 June 2019 Details including brass inlay in the natural oak herringbone floors, which run the length of the hallway, signify another important marker in creating a natural flow. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Inside an Unconventionally Glam Family Home in Chicago’s Historic Palmolive Building," 30 Apr. 2019

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

Statistics for herringbone

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for herringbone

The first known use of herringbone was in 1659

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for herringbone



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

More from Merriam-Webster on herringbone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with herringbone

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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!