\ ˈplēt How to pronounce pleat (audio) \
pleated; pleating; pleats

Definition of pleat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : fold especially : to arrange in pleats pleat a skirt



Definition of pleat (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fold in cloth made by doubling material over on itself also : something resembling such a fold

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Other Words from pleat


pleater noun


pleatless \ ˈplēt-​ləs How to pronounce pleatless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for pleat

Synonyms: Verb

braid, plait, plat

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Examples of pleat in a Sentence


Her skirt has pleats at the waist.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

They are pleated at the top of the drapery panel, and hang from a rod. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Drapes or Curtains? Why Choosing the Right Window Treatment Matters," 27 Mar. 2019 In another photo captured from the set, Laura Dern is seen wearing a gold pleated dress paired with tinted sunglasses and a slouchy metallic hat. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "New Photos from the Set of Big Little Lies Season Two Tease Another Costume Party," 6 Mar. 2019 For hanging style, your options are ring top, rod pocket, grommet, or pleated, and the grommet and pleated styles cost more per panel. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "This Company Makes Custom Curtains and Shades Starting at Just $65," 14 Feb. 2019 Naomi Campbell made the case for sharp silhouettes, emerging in Paris in a boxy blazer that was paired with a flowing pleated dress. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "10 Best Dressed: Week of January 21, 2019," 21 Jan. 2019 Campbell wore a black tulle creation that had a giant, poufy pleated skirt and a high-neck collar. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Naomi Campbell, Icon, Closed a Valentino Show in a Naked Dress," 23 Jan. 2019 Her clothes are crafted to fit any woman’s body and accentuate their curves, a technique that Merhej achieves with ruching, pleating, and boning. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meet the Lebanese Designer Inspired by the Atelier Her Great-Grandmother Built in Beirut," 30 Nov. 2018 Getty ImagesSamir Hussein While the top of the dress was pure navy, the real star of the look was the dress' pleated, multi-colored skirt, which commanded attention in diagonal splashes of blue, green, and pale pink. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Comparing Meghan Markle's Two Very Different Summer Wedding Looks," 5 Aug. 2018 The filter is airtight, and comprised of a dense sheet of small fibers pleated and sealed in a metal or plastic frame. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "Do Air Purifiers Actually Work?," 17 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her Majesty’s version came in accordion pleats—another of her favorite silhouettes—and featured a geometric motif which lent an artistic touch. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Queen Letizia of Spain Takes the Little White Dress into Fall," 18 Sep. 2018 Luckily for brave gents, there are dozens of styles to choose from, like Vuitton’s pleats, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s kilts, and undone Thom Browne’s prepster midis. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Fall 2019 Men’s Trend Report," 25 Jan. 2019 And, fortunately, at the Detroit jacket’s back shoulder, Carhartt wisely included a pleat to ensure greater movement—or in this case to keep Sparky’s teeth busy. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "I Never Expected My Work Jacket to Fend Off a Dog Attack—But I'm Glad It Did," 13 Nov. 2018 Another thing that did really well is those foil pleats [Spring 2014]. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Proenza Schouler Is Back at New York Fashion Week, With “Real” Clothes That “Might Be a Little Polarizing”," 10 Sep. 2018 To battle the summer-style blahs, Mr. Barket endorses tucking a button-up shirt into the shorts to spotlight those striking pleats. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "This Summer, Dress Like Hemingway on His Boat," 10 July 2018 The actress has long relied on outré clothing statements and chose a modest accordion pleat dress by Vetements with matching red velvet stilettos. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Tilda Swinton Gives Vetements the Red Carpet Treatment," 4 Oct. 2018 The countryside unfolds as a series of lush pleats of green. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die," 24 Sep. 2018 The floor-length dress was intricately detailed with lace and pleats and cinched at the waist with a thick pink band. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Shannon Purser and Noah Centineo Attend the “Sierra Burgess Is A Loser” Premiere," 31 Aug. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pleat


Middle English pleten, from pleit, plete plait


Middle English plete

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Statistics for pleat

Last Updated

4 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for pleat

The first known use of pleat was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for pleat



English Language Learners Definition of pleat

: a fold in cloth that is made by folding the material onto itself


\ ˈplēt How to pronounce pleat (audio) \
pleated; pleating

Kids Definition of pleat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to arrange in folds made by doubling material over on itself



Kids Definition of pleat (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fold (as in cloth) made by doubling material over on itself

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More from Merriam-Webster on pleat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pleat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pleat

Spanish Central: Translation of pleat

Nglish: Translation of pleat for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pleat

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


an enemy or opponent

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