rib·​bon | \ ˈri-bən How to pronounce ribbon (audio) \

Definition of ribbon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a flat or tubular narrow closely woven fabric (as of silk or rayon) used for trimmings or knitting
b : a narrow fabric used for tying packages
c : a piece of usually multicolored ribbon worn as a military decoration or in place of a medal
d : a strip of colored satin given for winning a place in a competition
2 : a strip of inked fabric (as in a typewriter)
3 ribbons plural : reins for controlling an animal
4 : tatter, shred usually used in plurala sheet cut to ribbons


ribboned; ribboning; ribbons

Definition of ribbon (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to adorn with ribbons
b : to divide into ribbons
c : to cover with or as if with ribbons
2 : to rip to shreds

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Other Words from ribbon


ribbonlike \ ˈri-​bən-​ˌlīk How to pronounce ribbonlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for ribbon

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of ribbon in a Sentence

Noun She wore pink ribbons in her hair. She tied a ribbon around the present. The present was tied with ribbon. The soldier proudly wore his ribbons and medals. Her pie won a ribbon at the county fair. Verb over the years the historic flag had become badly ribboned by the wind
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The event will include a ribbon-cutting, fireworks, former NFL players and performances by all three bands, cheer and dance teams. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "Spring QBs find family connections in 49-21 rout over Eisenhower," 1 Nov. 2019 According to a news release, the space will be open to the public on Monday, with a ribbon-cutting event and tour of the building. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Coworking hub to open in Detroit's Fitzgerald neighborhood," 1 Nov. 2019 In March 2012, Hunter’s brother, Beau, was asked to do the ribbon-cutting at the new U.S. embassy in Bucharest. NBC News, "Hunter Biden's legal work in Romania raises new questions about his overseas dealings," 24 Oct. 2019 Demings will be part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the show. Stephen Hudak, orlandosentinel.com, "Mayor Jerry Demings leads Orange County tourism entourage to London," 22 Oct. 2019 The callout comes after Trump spoke at a ribbon-cutting event to open a new Louis Vuitton leather goods workshop in Alvarado, Texas. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Criticizes 'Joke' Donald Trump's Visit to Label's New Texas Factory," 21 Oct. 2019 But the image of LVMH CEO and chairman Bernard Arnault and Donald Trump at a ribbon-cutting ceremony surrounded by Louis Vuitton products has caused some to speak out against the French fashion house. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Why Some People Are Calling for a Louis Vuitton Boycott," 21 Oct. 2019 Before his rally in Dallas Thursday, Mr. Trump attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new workshop in Alvarado, Texas, where the luxury brand will manufacture leather goods like handbags. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Louis Vuitton designer calls Trump "a joke," accuses him of homophobia after Texas workshop visit," 21 Oct. 2019 Fifty Years Ago Grand opening ceremonies, including a ribbon-cutting during which Richard Ralphs wielded the scissors, was held to welcome customers to the new Ralphs market in the Flynnridge shopping center on Foothill Boulevard at Gould Avenue. La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada History: 17-year-old La Cañada High student named the 1990 Rose Queen," 7 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For decades, the viaduct provided shelter to homeless people below, who lived underneath decks of asphalt and steel that ribboned along the Puget Sound. Vianna Davila, The Seattle Times, "As the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down, so does a longtime shelter for Seattle’s homeless," 13 Jan. 2019 One of the original highways in the U.S. highway system, Route 66 stretches from Chicago to Santa Monica, totaling in 2,448 miles of ribboning highway. Lydia Culp, Fox News, "Best US road trips," 2 Apr. 2018 Layers of cool hues and ribboned marble give the interior a quiet and calming vibe. Neal J. Leitereg, latimes.com, "Contemporary three-story displays a fresh face in Playa Vista," 2 May 2018 For instance, the exterior of the 33-story glassy tower is punctuated with full-height bay windows, and each floor is ribboned with a horizontal green band. Pamela Dittmer Mckuen, chicagotribune.com, "New angular Loop apartment wants you to fall in love with its lines," 21 Dec. 2017 The croissants are Philly’s best, their whorling layers tanged with cultured butter and honey — even better ribboned with intense chocolate. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "Hungry Pigeon serves comfort plates with a cheffy twist," 9 Dec. 2017 In the chef’s kitchen, ribboned calacatta marble countertops pair with custom white cabinetry. Neal J. Leitereg, latimes.com, "Former Angel Gary Matthews Jr. parts with a home base in Corona del Mar," 19 Oct. 2017 Perhaps the best example of this is Lasa’s lumpia sariwa, a menu staple that takes a traditional Filipino rice flour crepe and the cuisine’s signature bright, vinegary sauces and pairs them with a bed of ribboned kale. Zan Romanoff, Bon Appetit, "We Want Everything on the Menu at This New Cali-Filipino Restaurant," 12 Sep. 2017 For me, all the blue and gold ribboned boxes in the world can’t hold a candle to Passover. Orange County Register, "Cooking with Judy: Can’t beat the cuisine at the community Seder," 6 Apr. 2017

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ribbon


Middle English riban, from Anglo-French ribane, rubane

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Statistics for ribbon

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for ribbon

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

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More Definitions for ribbon


How to pronounce ribbon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ribbon

: a narrow piece of cloth (such as silk) that is used to tie things or for decoration
: a short piece of cloth that is given as a military award
chiefly US : a piece of colored cloth that is given as an award in a competition


rib·​bon | \ ˈri-bən How to pronounce ribbon (audio) \

Kids Definition of ribbon

1 : a narrow strip of usually colorful fabric used especially for decoration or to tie things
2 : a ribbon that is given as an award
3 : tatter sense 1, shred usually used in pl.The sails were torn to ribbons.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ribbon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ribbon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ribbon

Spanish Central: Translation of ribbon

Nglish: Translation of ribbon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ribbon for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ribbon

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