noun, often attributive
her·​ring·​bone | \ˈher-iŋ-ˌbōn, 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 quilts come in muted herringbone and geometric patterns, and cost $370 to $955. Max Berlinger, New York Times, "This Old Thing? Quilts Hit the Catwalk," 9 May 2018 Topcoats in herringbone tweed and camel nod to menswear's more traditional codes but are cut shorter and boxier for a new, less formal effect. Matt Sebra, GQ, "Miuccia Prada’s Vision for the Future Now Includes Laser Beams and Space Suits," 19 Mar. 2018 They were forged by twisting rods of iron, a process that left unique herringbone and braided patterns in the blades. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 My go-tos are a herringbone Giorgio Armani blazer or a dark gray Dolce & Gabbana blazer. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "The Power Lawyer Who Believes in a Power Dress," 19 June 2018 Plaza slings her oversize herringbone blazer on a chair and sits at the small table, under the painting of esoteric inferences, across from Paula. Nojan Aminosharei, Marie Claire, "Aubrey Plaza Was Never April Ludgate," 13 June 2018 Corridor: Cerulean-blue linen button-up ($198); slightly faded herringbone khaki chinos ($195); a skinny, polka-dot, handmade-in-Brooklyn tie ($75). 2. Katy Schneider, The Cut, "16 Gift Ideas for Moms, Dads, and Discerning Grads," 29 Apr. 2018 The home’s numerous architectural flourishes include original features like 10-foot ceilings in the entertaining space, herringbone oak floors, decorative moldings and two wood-burning fireplaces that are in working condition. Vivian Marino, New York Times, "Family of Christine Beshar, Trailblazing Lawyer, Selling Co-op," 29 Mar. 2018 Out in the Dark There’s that stunning herringbone pattern again, made all the more elegant by matte black tiles. Joanna Linberg, Sunset, "10 Ideas for Decorating with Tile," 22 Jan. 2018

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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Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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The first known use of herringbone was in 1659

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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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