\ 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 Shape on a lathe, or with a spokeshave or surform rasp. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 24 Apr. 2021 The sections were cut into billets, bat-length oblongs of wood that could be shaped by lathe, sander, and polish., 3 Apr. 2021 His worn lathe remains on display at the Crystal Lake Falls Historical Association’s Owen-Pierce House Museum, a source of local pride., 3 Apr. 2021 The term refers to wood that was historically carved and shaped using a lathe. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Mar. 2021 The tailstock of any lathe has a hole to accept a center. Bob Beacham,, 26 Feb. 2021 Seeking a more commercial application for his lathe, the couple opened an Etsy shop called Vinylus, selling bespoke albums — basically, vinyl mix tapes — with custom artwork for $95 to $110. New York Times, 13 Feb. 2021 Two employees were operating a manual lathe when one of their arms was pulled into the machine in November 2018, according to OSHA records. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, 23 Nov. 2020 His family bought a lathe and so far have made about 115 bats and donated more than $2,000. Chip Reid, CBS News, 28 Oct. 2020

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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Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lathe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on lathe

Nglish: Translation of lathe for Spanish Speakers

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


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