trac·​ery ˈtrā-sə-rē How to pronounce tracery (audio)
plural traceries
: architectural ornamental work with branching lines
especially : decorative openwork in a Gothic window
: a decorative interlacing of lines suggestive of Gothic tracery
ˈtrā-sə-rēd How to pronounce tracery (audio)

Illustration of tracery

Illustration of tracery
  • tracery 1

Examples of tracery in a Sentence

This window is an example of Gothic tracery. the delicate tracery of a butterfly's wing
Recent Examples on the Web The contrast is beautifully maintained by the physical production, in which even the breeze-block wall framing the patio, by the design studio dots, is on point: a tracery of concrete and air. Jesse Green, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2023 From the outset indicating the centrality of composer Eiko Ishibashi’s score, we are drawn into the film with a long musical excerpt, only accompanied by fluid tracking shot, looking upward: a tracery of tree branches, feathered out against a winter sky. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 4 Sep. 2023 Yet, his exquisite graphite drawing positions a viewer behind an iron railing decorated with the elegant tracery of the king’s monogram. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2023 The building contains over 10,000 wooden diamonds and over 1,500 linear feet of Gothic tracery panels with more than 110 different designs inspired by European concert halls. Gabi De La Rosa, Chron, 17 May 2023 The silhouette of bare trees and the tracery of naked shrubs offer their own seasonal testament, but people need the reassurance of winter greenery to tell them that the plant world is still alive and that the promise of a far-off spring will be kept. Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2020 Small pea-like flowers line branches with fuchsia tracery., 9 May 2021 Designed by the architect Cass Gilbert, it’s draped in glazed white terra-cotta, embellished with neo-Gothic arches and tracery, and rises nearly eight hundred feet above lower Manhattan. Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker, 23 Nov. 2020 As seen from space, the tracery at the melting edge of sea ice is beautiful. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 25 Apr. 2013 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1669, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tracery was in 1669

Dictionary Entries Near tracery

Cite this Entry

“Tracery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


trac·​ery ˈtrās-(ə-)rē How to pronounce tracery (audio)
plural traceries
: ornamental work with many branching lines

More from Merriam-Webster on tracery

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