wreathed; wreathing

transitive verb

: to shape into a wreath
: to cause to coil about something
: to twist or contort so as to show folds or creases
: to encircle or adorn with or as if with a wreath

intransitive verb

: to twist in coils : writhe
: to take on the shape of a wreath
: to move or extend in circles or spirals

Example Sentences

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 And if either of them ever forgets, the words are always with them, in colorful tattoos that wreathe their arms in foreign languages. Debra Kamin, WSJ, 23 Feb. 2022 Many likely formed alongside their parent bodies, sprouting out of the swirling disk of gas and dust that wreathes planets in their infancy. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Mar. 2020 On Friday night, the largest crowds ever to gather in recent Iraqi history came to protest peacefully, but noisily, against the government, wreathing entire buildings in flags. Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, 4 Nov. 2019 As rescuers tried to move the plane off him, one lit a match for a cigarette, igniting gas fumes and wreathing the wreckage in flame. New York Times, 11 Dec. 2019 From there, the GRR1 heads northwest into a dense and impossibly wet woodland wreathed in arborescent ferns and carpeted with beds of moss two feet deep. Rowan Moore Gerety, New York Times, 28 Dec. 2019 In November, the district’s center — where the market, a sprawling park, a library, and shopping malls are clustered — was wreathed in tear gas for five consecutive days as police fought running battles with anti-government protesters. Hillary Leung / Hong Kong, Time, 6 Dec. 2019 The walls of the cavern, wreathed in flowstone, glittered in brown and gray. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 27 Nov. 2019 The sculptures depict four seated African women, wreathed or constrained in what appear to be coiling vines, and with flat mirror-like disks in front of their faces. Daniel Gelernter, National Review, 21 Sep. 2019 See More

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.

Word History



First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of wreathe was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near wreathe

Cite this Entry

“Wreathe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wreathe. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


wreathed; wreathing
: to form into a wreath
: to crown, decorate, or cover with or as if with a wreath
ivy wreathed the pole

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