\ ˈlāt͟h How to pronounce lathe (audio) \

Definition of lathe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a machine in which work is rotated about a horizontal axis and shaped by a fixed tool


lathed; lathing

Definition of lathe (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cut or shape with a lathe

Examples of lathe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Painted in a pale moss green with chrome stools, checkerboard floor, weathered beams and lathes artfully exposed to show off the plaster, the bright space reminded me of an Eastern seashore diner as imagined in a Gene Kelly musical. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "From hot ramen to hotter hot pot: 30 restaurant openings in Seattle and on the Eastside," 28 Nov. 2018 The workshops, known as Mobile Technology Repair Complexes, are powered by renewable energy and stuffed with tools including lathes, welders, and 3D printers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Commandos Have Their Own Mobile, Modular Workshops," 30 May 2018 Using his army of tools, a mighty wood lathe, and solid block of wood, Kennard saws and sharpens the wood to create the decorative boxes. Jordan Valinsky, Popular Mechanics, "This Short Documentary Captures the Strange Beauty of Woodcarving," 11 May 2015 Jack White's Third Man Records celebrated King Records in 2013 by revitalizing a lathe record-maker from Cincinnati. Chris Mayhew,, "Jack White pays homage to King Records Cincinnati before Bunbury," 4 June 2018 In the end, his detective work disclosed that the lathe worker was Naomi Parker Fraley. Margalit Fox, New York Times, "Naomi Parker Fraley, the Real Rosie the Riveter, Dies at 96," 22 Jan. 2018 Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, intricate spindles, newel posts and columns were all spun by the thousands on mechanical lathes, then offered in catalogs to prospective owners. Steve Carney,, "Architecture Spotlight: Victorian is a stately, though needy, grande dame," 16 June 2018 That in addition to their only child, the building was also one to suffer from the Moore’s contentious divorce—holes the size of baseballs in the plaster and lathe walls, shredded wooden door frames. Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award runner-up: "Here Is Where the Taxi Driver Set His Wife on Fire" by GKS Waller," 2 June 2018 The bowl on my desk, which was turned on a lathe from a single piece of wood, is by Ed Moulthrop. As Told To Patricia R. Olsen, New York Times, "An Office Decorated in Homage to Southern Art," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lathe.' 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 lathe


1611, in the meaning defined above


circa 1903, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lathe


probably from Middle English lath supporting stand

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Dictionary Entries near lathe

latex paint


lath brick





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Time Traveler for lathe

The first known use of lathe was in 1611

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More Definitions for lathe



English Language Learners Definition of lathe

: a machine in which a piece of wood or metal is held and turned while being shaped by a sharp tool


\ ˈlāt͟h How to pronounce lathe (audio) \

Kids Definition of lathe

: a machine in which a piece of material (as wood) is held and turned while being shaped by a tool

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More from Merriam-Webster on lathe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lathe

Spanish Central: Translation of lathe

Nglish: Translation of lathe for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on lathe

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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