\ˈrēt͟h \
wreathed; wreathing

Definition of wreathe 

transitive verb

1a : to shape into a wreath

b : interweave

c : to cause to coil about something

2 : to twist or contort so as to show folds or creases

3 : to encircle or adorn with or as if with a wreath

intransitive verb

1 : to twist in coils : writhe

2a : to take on the shape of a wreath

b : to move or extend in circles or spirals

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Examples of wreathe in a Sentence

decided to wreathe the grapevines into a beribboned swag to give the room the “country look” wreathed small flowers into the design for the wallpaper

Recent Examples on the Web

Along the way Maddin works his way through his usual bag of tricks—irises, feverish superimpositions, texts introducing the characters, figures wreathed in electronic snow. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film / Foreign / On Video / Small Screen The weird world of Guy Maddin," 1 May 2018 Campaigners accused the government of doing too little, as dramatic footage showed the area off Balikpapan in the province of East Kalimantan wreathed in thick black smoke after the oil caught fire over the weekend. Euan Mckirdy, CNN, "State of emergency declared over Indonesia oil spill," 4 Apr. 2018 Raissa and Mariam take it all in -- wreathes heavy with ornaments, chandeliers, ablaze with light. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "Searching for the meaning of Christmas with Raissa in Playhouse Square: Andrea Simakis," 24 Dec. 2017 Their grave boxes still smell like fresh paint and are wreathed in plastic flowers, propped up on blocks on the cemetery's highest ground, at least for now. Author: Teresa Cotsirilos, Anchorage Daily News, "As permafrost thaws, Western Alaska village cemeteries sink into swampland," 19 Dec. 2017 Void Star’s characters live in a near-future world where global warming has flooded most coastal cities and San Francisco and Los Angeles are wreathed in squalid favelas. Laura Miller, Slate Magazine, "Dark Futures," 25 May 2017 Nearby La Scala opera house, the Hotel Milano Scala—which has fearsome eco credentials, like an underground pump converting soil water into energy—has wreathed its balconies in foliage, and has a vegetable garden on the rooftop. Julia Buckley, CNT, "Vertical Forests Are Spreading Across Cities, from Milan to Tehran," 10 Oct. 2017 Her pyrotechnic blondeness, with its cascade of dark roots, wreathed her face like a spray of goldenrod. David Friend, Newsweek, "Before Trump Was President, Online Sex Videos, Bill Clinton and the Naughty '90s Changed America," 7 Sep. 2017 On the day of the wedding, the gateway outside of the First Congregational Church was wreathed with pink peonies, a special surprise from Miles’s parents. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Cynthia Cook Smith and Miles Clements’s Picture-Perfect Wedding on the Island of Nantucket," 31 Aug. 2017

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

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for wreathe


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Statistics for wreathe

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Time Traveler for wreathe

The first known use of wreathe was in 1530

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More Definitions for wreathe



English Language Learners Definition of wreathe

: to surround or cover (something)


\ˈrēt͟h \
wreathed; wreathing

Kids Definition of wreathe

1 : to form into wreaths Evergreen branches were wreathed and hung.

2 : to crown, decorate, or cover with or as if with a wreath The girls … wreathed their hair with … blossoms.— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

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Comments on wreathe

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


playful or foolish behavior

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