\ ˈrēt͟h How to pronounce wreathe (audio) \
wreathed; wreathing

Definition of wreathe

transitive verb

1a : to shape into a wreath
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 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, "A Buffer Zone Around Saturn May Have Kept It From Swallowing Its Biggest Moon," 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, "Iraqis Rise Against a Reviled Occupier: Iran," 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, "Overlooked No More: Bessie Coleman, Pioneering African-American Aviatrix," 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, "Why Hiking Beats Surfing on Réunion Island (Hint: Sharks!)," 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, "Tear Gas Is Now a Fact of Life in Hong Kong. Residents Are Wondering What It's Doing to Their Health," 6 Dec. 2019 The walls of the cavern, wreathed in flowstone, glittered in brown and gray. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Samuel D. Hunter’s Own Private Idaho," 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, "The Metropolitan Museum of Art Defaces Its Façade," 21 Sep. 2019 And a few doors down, a towering shaman-like figure wreathed in strings of multicolored beads cradles a conch close to his mouth, eyes closed. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "For public art in the Boston area, competing interests and big questions," 27 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for wreathe

Time Traveler

The first known use of wreathe was in 1530

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Cite this Entry

“Wreathe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wreathe. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for wreathe



English Language Learners Definition of wreathe

literary : to surround or cover (something)


\ ˈrēt͟h How to pronounce wreathe (audio) \
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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