1 of 2


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


2 of 2


lathed; lathing

transitive verb

: to cut or shape with a lathe

Examples of lathe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The bats were coming down the old lathe walls and entering through the gaps in the baseboards. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 31 Oct. 2023 Truckloads of new work stations, lathes, and furnaces are set for installation. Time, 24 July 2023 In this class, students focus on learning machines, like the lathe, grinder, table saw and other machinery. Deena Lawley-Dixon, Chicago Tribune, 19 June 2023 The recipient of this pronouncement is Elli Vuokko, a fiery 19-year-old delegate representing Finnish lathe operators whom Rosa befriends during morning self-defense lessons and soaking sessions at the public baths. Alida Becker, New York Times, 30 Mar. 2023 Within seven years, Mr. Hasenfratz had set up his own company, starting with a single lathe to form metal parts in his basement. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 25 Jan. 2022 Some elements from that history have been preserved — a lathe here, gears there — lending a cool, industrial feeling to the 10,000-plus square feet of space. Globe Staff,, 16 May 2023 Bone records were made from 1946 until 1964, when the availability of reel-to-reel tape recorders rendered the difficult lathe recorders obsolete, Coates said. Rory Appleton, The Indianapolis Star, 8 May 2023 In the basement, rooms were cluttered with lathes, microscopes, pumps, engine prototypes, and other scientific equipment with which the children were free to tinker. Nick Romeo, The New Yorker, 15 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lathe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



probably from Middle English lath supporting stand

First Known Use


1611, in the meaning defined above


circa 1903, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lathe was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near lathe

Cite this Entry

“Lathe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on lathe

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