\ 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 intohis 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lace


lacer noun


laced \ ˈlāst How to pronounce laced (audio) \ adjective
laceless \ ˈlās-​ləs How to pronounce laceless (audio) \ adjective
lacelike \ ˈlās-​ˌlīk How to pronounce lacelike (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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Constructed of flaky juniper twigs laced together with barbed wire, metal posts and rustic gates, the site is rife with wildflowers and photo opportunities for those attuned to the details hidden among the weeds. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Great views start right away on this easy Payson hike. Here's how to do it.," 14 May 2020 Ballerinas stretching at the barre, lacing their toe shoes, and lounging in the wings are captured on canvas or in pastel. Carol Strickland, The Christian Science Monitor, "Degas painted dancers and musicians with deftness and authority," 4 May 2020 Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop the kneecaps from a man’s legs or cut his hands to lace. Hilton Als, The New Yorker, "Carolyn Forché’s Education in Looking," 30 Mar. 2020 But the 880-odd tracks that lace the state’s national parks, reserves, and conservation areas each have their own unique aspects. Ewen Bell, National Geographic, "What makes Tasmania an outdoor lover’s dream?," 29 Dec. 2019 In a vintage cream satin evening dress, rigorously laced, the reality mogul was at her sultry, confident best. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Last Week, Stars Went for Corsetry and Confidence," 16 Dec. 2019 Boundaries are marked by dung piles laced with pheromones and are usually defended by loud vocalizations. National Geographic, "Grevy's zebra," 25 Mar. 2020 Butterflies adorn another silhouette along with white-lock stitching and custom Sandy Liang laces. Sara Radin,, "Sandy Liang’s Vans Line Is ‘90s Heaven," 25 Feb. 2020 My profanity laced interview with yet another loser informant has been published. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "‘Crossfire Typhoon’: George Papadopoulos denials about DNC hack were not relayed to FISA court," 9 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Although the store has been closed during the statewide stay-at-home order, the staff at Rockport Bridals, 13429 Detroit Ave., Lakewood added a special touch to one of the mannequins modeling a bridal gown in the store window: a lace face mask. Carol Kovach, cleveland, "Volunteers, vendors needed for 14th season of Kamm’s Corners Farmers Market: A Place in the Sun," 11 May 2020 Queen Anne’s lace is closely related to the common garden carrot and can transfer insects and diseases to your carrots. Margaret Roach, New York Times, "The Dirty Secret About Weeding," 8 May 2020 Another lace cap type bloom, this one is just about the last one to flower in the group. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "With the right placement and little care, hydrangeas can make your Kentucky garden pop," 8 May 2020 Seriously, check out the costumes from Valley Girl, which are full of mesh and lace and spandex, of course. Shannon Carlin,, "Meet The Totally Awesome Cast Of Valley Girl," 8 May 2020 At times, the masks on the runway—like Marine Serre’s white lace and black versions and the armor-like headgear and hoods at Paco Rabanne—more directly mirrored the... Rory Satran, WSJ, "What to Wear to Look Current in 2020," 6 Mar. 2020 Isabel Marant is known for her feminine French looks, ruffles, lace and florals. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Retail Therapy: Spring hasn’t been canceled at NorthPark, Highland Park Village and Neiman Marcus," 5 Mar. 2020 Select the right water temperature: Delicate fabrics like wool, silk, or lace work best in cold water. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Ultimate Checklist for How Often You Should Wash Clothes, Linens, and Everything Else," 7 Apr. 2020 Brass eyelets and cotton herringbone laces are the perfect finishing touches. Jenna Sims, Southern Living, "The New Rifle Paper Co. and Keds Collaboration Will Put A Spring in Your Step," 3 Apr. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lace

Time Traveler for lace

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lace

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lace


How to pronounce lace (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to pull a lace through the holes of (a shoe, boot, etc.)
: to be tied or fastened with a lace
: to add a small amount of a powerful substance (such as alcohol, a drug, or a poison) to (something, such as a drink)



English Language Learners Definition of lace (Entry 2 of 2)

: a cord or string used for tying or holding things together
: a very thin and light cloth made with patterns of holes


\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lace

Spanish Central: Translation of lace

Nglish: Translation of lace for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on lace

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
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!