\ ˈlās How to pronounce lace (audio) \
laced; lacing

Definition of lace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to draw together the edges of by or as if by a lace passed through eyelets laces her fingers behind her head
2 : to draw or pass (something, such as a lace) through something (such as eyelets)
3 : to confine or compress by tightening laces of a garment
4a : to adorn with or as if with lace the surrounding countryside was laced with villages and hamlets— L. C. Heinemann
b : to mark with streaks of color
5 : beat, lash
6a : to add a dash of liquor to
b : to add something to impart pungency, savor, or zest to a sauce laced with garlic conversation laced with sarcasm
c : to adulterate with a substance laced a guard's coffee with a sedative

intransitive verb

1 : to admit of being tied or fastened with a lace
2 : to make a verbal attack usually used with into his boss laced into him for being late



Definition of lace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a cord or string used for drawing together two edges (as of a garment or a shoe)
2 : an ornamental braid for trimming coats or uniforms
3 : an openwork usually figured fabric made of thread or yarn and used for trimmings, household coverings, and entire garments

Other Words from lace


lacer noun


laced \ ˈlāst How to pronounce lace (audio) \ adjective
laceless \ ˈlās-​ləs How to pronounce lace (audio) \ adjective
lacelike \ ˈlās-​ˌlīk How to pronounce lace (audio) \ adjective

Examples of lace in a Sentence

Verb a dress that laces in the back the gardener laced the shoots of ivy around the trellis to direct their growth Noun I need new laces for these shoes. She wore lace on her wedding gown.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Michelle Williams harbors a deep desire to lace up her dancing shoes again. Brent Lang, Variety, 12 May 2022 And the dark brown roux, used most often in Cajun food, is cooked until it’s the color of chocolate and ready to lace gumbo with a nutty richness. Bon Appétit, 29 Dec. 2021 This medium-coverage cheeky style is one of its bestsellers, with a cotton fabric that feels comfy and lace trim that adds stretch. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, 3 May 2022 In 2019, Nike released sneakers connected to the Internet that used an app to lace themselves. Washington Post, 2 May 2022 Pair pink roses, add a pinch of blush to your cheeks, and lace up one of the corsets below to live out your best Bridgerton fantasy — Duke of Hastings Simon Basset not included. Abby Dupes, Seventeen, 21 Apr. 2022 Thousands of supporters are expected to lace up the running or walking shoes and pound the pavement for the 11th annual Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash 5K at downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Huizenga Plaza. Emmett Hall, Sun Sentinel, 15 Apr. 2022 Amid chic decor, mixologists lace soft drinks with sophistication-signifiers and wallet-declutterers like orgeat, tobacco syrup, and chinotto orange. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 19 Apr. 2022 With his old pal and partner beside him on Tuesday, Biden finally began to lace up his boxing gloves. Paul Begala, CNN, 5 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For her Vogue debut, Delali Ayivi brought along Brother Vellies’s wedged lace-ups to the sandy shores of Lomé, Togo. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 20 May 2022 Nothing is too big, like the bizarre biscuit tray dress of 2013, or too daring, like Eva Herzigova's risque lace gown in 2008, for Cannes. Leah Dolan, CNN, 13 May 2022 Get higher in these sikk knee high boots that have a vegan leather construction, platform soles, side zip closures, adjustable lace-ups, and thick buckle straps all along the front. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 27 Jan. 2022 Jordan's autographed size-13 lace-ups were in good overall condition, with signs of court wear and tear, Sotheby's said. CBS News, 25 Oct. 2021 Photographs appeared of the band with everyone else wearing sneakers and Mr. Watts in a pair of lace-ups from the 19th-century Mayfair shoemaker George Cleverley. New York Times, 25 Aug. 2021 Gaga took the streets of New York City earlier in the week showing off a plethora of other bold statement ensembles ahead of her upcoming shows, including a standout number featuring her staple nine-inch lace-up platform boot heels. Sabrina Park, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 Aug. 2021 The timeless lace-ups have earned thousands of perfect ratings and an allegiance of fans that includes Kate Middleton. Jessica Leigh Mattern,, 25 July 2021 Horatio has branched out into more conservative derby lace-ups and will soon roll out a breezy leather fisherman sandal for summer. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 7 June 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of lace


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lace


Middle English, from Anglo-French lacer, from Latin laqueare to ensnare, from laqueus


Middle English, from Anglo-French lace, laz, from Latin laqueus snare

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Time Traveler for lace

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The first known use of lace was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near lace

lac dye



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Statistics for lace

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for lace


\ ˈlās How to pronounce lace (audio) \
laced; lacing

Kids Definition of lace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fasten or join with or as if with a cord or string Lace your shoes.



Kids Definition of lace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a cord or string for pulling and holding together opposite edges (as of a shoe)
2 : a very delicate fabric made with patterns of holes

More from Merriam-Webster on lace

Nglish: Translation of lace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lace for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lace


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