Definition of mitre in English:


(US miter)


  • 1A tall headdress worn by bishops and senior abbots as a symbol of office, tapering to a point at front and back with a deep cleft between.

    • ‘He was a tall man to start with, but as an Orthodox priest, he wore a miter on his head, which must have made him appear like a giant as he emerged out of the darkness.’
    • ‘Now I find myself completely unmoved by badges of hierarchy, of mitres and crooks and crowns.’
    • ‘Apart from his mitre, a bishop also had a ring (usually set with an amethyst) and a staff.’
    • ‘Cardinals wearing white miters processed onto the square, the wind rippling their red vestments and the pages of the book of the Gospel, which was placed on the coffin.’
    • ‘The reliquary bust's shoulders were made to look as if draped in a rich brocade, and it has a removable silk and enameled silver miter.’
    • ‘The pope is also, of course, buried with his bishop's ring and with his miter.’
    • ‘In it, a bishop who had committed disgraceful acts was stripped of the symbols of his office - mitre, crosier and ring.’
    • ‘In its place is the miter, the representation par excellence of the episcopate.’
    • ‘These church leaders adorn themselves with grand mitres, cloaks and sceptres whilst living and working in lavish and luxurious surroundings.’
    • ‘Then a man pushed forward from the congregation and rearranged the archbishop's mitre - and we realized it was a scene being shot for a film.’
    • ‘It showed me standing by the church door at the end of a service with a mitre almost covering my ears and my eyes.’
    • ‘The mitre had a band, or plate of inscribed gold.’
    • ‘His wobbling mitre gave clerical emphasis to his plea.’
    • ‘The figure, wearing the distinctive mitre - the ceremonial hat of a bishop - replaces an eroded piece of decorative stonework.’
    • ‘Cardinals wearing white mitres walked onto the square, their red vestments blowing in the breeze.’
    • ‘A man in the purple robes and small miter of the Order stepped from the obscurity.’
    • ‘He is wearing a grey fantasy costume with a red collar and a red-black stripe in the front that resembles a mitre.’
    • ‘There are some scholars who say the fish head hat of the priests of Enki (a Sumerarian god of the earth and world order) later became the miter of the bishops.’
  • 2A joint made between two pieces of wood or other material at an angle of 90°, such that the line of junction bisects this angle.

    as modifier ‘a mitre saw’
    • ‘Turn the wood around to make a miter cut on the other end.’
    • ‘The baseboards have butt joints rather than mitre joints and there are two bad locations shown on the diagram.’
    • ‘The wood, which is through-dyed in the colour black-grey and mitre jointed, gives the tables and Volumina a strong, monolithic character.’
    • ‘A professional-quality miter box or, preferably, a 10-inch power miter saw are required for the precision miters and crosscuts.’
    • ‘You set an angle on the dial, put a piece of wood on the surface and then big whirling blades of death chomp down and cut a perfect mitre joint for you.’
    • ‘Once the miter joint looks good, lightly tack it in place.’
    • ‘Installing trim, countertops, cabinets, flooring, and other woodwork would simply be a matter of cutting perfect 45-and 90-degree angles and miters.’
    • ‘It's easiest to square up the board, then tilt the miter saw to cut a 45-degree bevel for the first end piece and then square it up to cut the second end.’
    • ‘If a single board length will not cover the entire ridge, join the ends of boards with a miter joint.’
    • ‘Apply glue to the miters, and lock the joints with a finish nail from the top and side as shown.’
    • ‘Although a miter joint can be used, it is sometimes difficult to get a tight joint, especially when walls are drywall.’
    • ‘Cut neatly, form mitres at return angles and remove sharp edges, swarf and other potentially dangerous projections.’
    • ‘I then reversed the 45 degree angle on the miter saw one cut the other two 28-inch rails in the same manner.’
    • ‘The legs and leg tops as well as the top frame will need miter or angled cuts.’
    • ‘Apply some glue at the miter joint between the two pieces.’
    • ‘Many carpenters have started using biscuits in the miter joints between trim pieces to lock the joint together and prevent future separation.’
    • ‘Add wood glue to the miters and a bead of construction adhesive to the backside to compensate for the light nailing.’
    • ‘The joints are also the same, using 45 degree miters.’
    1. 2.1 A diagonal seam between two pieces of fabric that are sewn together at a corner.
      • ‘On a sectioned shade, clip the corners at the shade lower edge so they form a miter when the hem is turned up.’
      • ‘Rethread the needle and, beginning at a bottom corner, blind stitch up the corner miter to the fabric upper edge.’
  • 3A mollusc of warm seas which has a sharply pointed shell with a narrow aperture, supposedly resembling a bishop's mitre.

    Family Mitridae, class Gastropoda: Mitra and other genera

    • ‘The nautilus shell and miter shell are arranged as illustrations from a natural science sketch book.’
    • ‘The octopus to the left was hiding under the shell it's carrying, other juveniles have been found in miter shells.’
    • ‘This lot includes 20 Pacific miter shells that have been hand-drilled through the tips to make them into beads.’
    • ‘In one corner were piles of seashells attractively packaged and framed in boxes for hanging on the wall - cowries and mitre shells, murex and spider shells.’
    • ‘They reported miter shells in abundance, spider conches, Tridacna, and black-lipped pearl shells, the latter on the Yasawa’


[with object]
  • Join by means of a mitre joint or seam.

    ‘turn up a double hem, mitring the corners’
    • ‘If you are using quarter round tiles, you can either miter the corners or use specially molded quarter round corners if it comes in the pattern of tile you are using.’
    • ‘When mitering the box trim, always start by first cutting and mounting an end trim piece, then the long front trim and finally the other end.’
    • ‘The corners were mitered as the top of the trim was placed and pinned around the panel.’
    • ‘Another trick here is to miter the ends at a 45-degree angle so that the two pieces of molding will overlap each other to make a cleaner looking trim.’
    • ‘Pin pieces of 2-inch-wide ribbon onto each of the four edges of the curtain panel; miter the corners.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, via Latin from Greek mitra ‘belt or turban’.