Definition of ribbon in English:

ribbon

noun

  • 1A long, narrow strip of fabric, used for tying something or for decoration:

    ‘the tiny pink ribbons in her hair’
    [mass noun] ‘four lengths of ribbon’
    • ‘Tracy shook her head; her tiny braid, tied with a pink ribbon, swung back and forth.’
    • ‘They are studded with stones and plastic gems, also sometimes with ribbons and glittering fabric paints to enhance the look.’
    • ‘Wash them in a pillowcase and put them in your dryer for at least 20 minutes, then dress them up with ribbons and holiday fabrics.’
    • ‘There were yellow and pink ribbons holding her blue braids together at the ends.’
    • ‘The pink ribbon is the generic symbol for breast cancer awareness throughout the world.’
    • ‘Her first effort involved a pair of handkerchiefs, a length of pink ribbon and a thread to stitch them together - made simply to free herself from the grip of the corset.’
    • ‘Now they'll all have pink ribbons on them thanks to you.’
    • ‘An array of beaded and fabric fringes, colorful ribbons, rickracks and other decorative trims are available, and it's fun to create your own combination of two or more.’
    • ‘There were times, she would go to the mountain, and undo the tiny ribbons and loosen the braids, and run her fingers through her hair and let it be one with the wind.’
    • ‘Here, we padded a wall with batting and fabric, then secured crisscrossing ribbons with fabric tacks.’
    • ‘She constructed additional storage compartments from boxes wrapped in fabrics and ribbons.’
    • ‘Baubles can be painted, stencilled, sprayed, wrapped or decorated with fabric, ribbons, glitter, pearls and beads.’
    • ‘Anyone with some free time on Friday to sell pink ribbons should contact Marian Smyth or Mary Foster.’
    • ‘Or you can simply buy a pink ribbon from your local Cancer Research UK charity shop for a suggested donation of £1.’
    • ‘I was visiting my neighbor again, and he brought me a tiny black puppy with a pink ribbon around her neck.’
    • ‘Create this stole by stitching together ribbons, trims and fabric scraps temporarily held together with water-soluble stabilizer.’
    • ‘Boyle, who appeared onstage to present an award, caused the biggest stir of the night with her outfit: an outrageous pink tutu accented by ribbons wrapped around her calves.’
    • ‘Her hair is divided into two neat braids (with pink ribbons, of course) and there's a tooth missing from the upper row.’
    • ‘The Fisher's daughter, who has long blonde hair in pink ribbons, comes in and calls for Polly.’
    • ‘Selfridges is promising a wrapping service using vintage and recycled ribbons, bows and fabrics.’
    1. 1.1 A ribbon of a special colour or design awarded as a prize or worn to indicate the holding of an honour, especially a small multicoloured piece of ribbon worn in place of the medal it represents:
      ‘his medal ribbons were bright as a rainbow’
      • ‘As you play online, each point you get counts towards medals, ribbons and ranks that can be won.’
      • ‘He opened it to reveal a collection of small medals and ribbons.’
      • ‘They hated that, felt it was all wrong to have him stand there in his getup - the four stars, his ribbons and decorations, and his pearl-handled revolvers.’
      • ‘On the bridge a Leading Stoker spotted his WWII Medal ribbons and said: ‘You must have been a CO of a battalion during the war, sir’?’
      • ‘He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.’
      • ‘Rawlinson's London Times obituary said that he wore his ribbons and decorations ‘worthily,’ having earned all of them.’
      • ‘Campbell attached copies of his military records to the lawsuit, showing that he received a Purple Heart and eight other medals, ribbons and decorations for his service in Vietnam.’
      • ‘My parents divorced when I was younger and I loved how proud my dad was of me whenever I brought home a new ribbon or a medal.’
      • ‘The issue was whether Kerry threw away his medals or merely his medal ribbons during a protest in Washington DC.’
      • ‘With 18 years in the Corps, he's not about to retire, especially after three combat award ribbons and that Silver Star.’
      • ‘Every competitor is given an award - a gold, silver or bronze medal or a ribbon.’
      • ‘As veterans we leave the military with medals, ribbons and a national debt of gratitude for our service.’
      • ‘With the proliferation of medals and ribbons for this and that, the time has arrived for the Combat Tanker Badge.’
      • ‘What is the significance of the ribbons, insignia and medals?’
      • ‘As yet, the colour and design of the ribbon has not been decided.’
      • ‘He earned four service medals and three ribbons before his honorable discharge in 1994.’
      • ‘Winners will be awarded medals and ribbons with the Special Olympics South Africa logo.’
      • ‘All-Star Reading Day and Championship Day are special days of honor and joy for the children, who receive ribbons, certificates or medals.’
      • ‘It is an overwhelming, overflowing kaleidoscope of color, faces, tanned bodies, trophies, medals and ribbons.’
      • ‘There was a time when police officers looked smart, were uniform in appearance, had somewhere to display their medal ribbons, and all without detriment to comfort or personal protection.’
      honour, decoration, ribbon, star, order, badge, pin, laurel, wreath, palm, colours, insignia, plaque, award, trophy
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2ribbons Prizes; honours:
      ‘in the Silk Cup trophy class Mullins stayed in the ribbons’
      • ‘In our amateur classes, we were actually in the ribbons, having our names announced for the first time!’
  • 2A long, narrow strip:

    ‘slice the peppers into ribbons lengthways’
    • ‘The ribbon of land mass, fringed with coconut trees, stretches for more than 12,500 miles around a vast lagoon.’
    • ‘A voiceover intones, ‘No more excuses, start to snack smart,’ as the camera shows ribbons of fruit in yogurt.’
    • ‘The fluorescent tagging devices are short glass ribbons just 100 micrometers long and 20 microm wide.’
    • ‘Quartz commonly forms polycrystalline ribbons; undulatory extinction, dynamic recrystallization and grain-boundary migration are widespread.’
    • ‘Drive south from San Francisco, along the black ribbon of Route 1 as it hugs the northern coast of California.’
    • ‘Then there was hamachi lightly braised in ginger tea, and yellowtail tataki crusted in pepper and laid in ribbons over slices of peach and soft avocado.’
    • ‘It was sleeting, and my team spotted a ribbon of smoke in the forest and wheeled off the road to a campfire, around which huddled six Lithuanian cyclists.’
    • ‘The leading edge of the ice freezes to the stem's papery bark, and as the ice grows it is lifted upward by the attached bark, forming delicately curved, lacy ribbons.’
    • ‘Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, finely slice carrots lengthways into ribbons.’
    • ‘The A888 is a narrow ribbon of tarmac that curls and loops around the inlets and headlands of the Hebridean island of Barra.’
    • ‘The clever idea here is to make the shell of the chair out of a continuous broad ribbon of material that forms seat, back and sides in one fluid movement.’
    • ‘That creates black borders at top and bottom and a narrow ribbon of picture across the middle of your TV screen.’
    • ‘I tucked in, and with a sideways glance through the bare low hedge, pushed on and on and tried to be optimistic about a ten-degree ribbon of pink sky.’
    • ‘When they are cool enough to handle, peel the peppers and remove the seeds, then cut each pepper into 8 ribbons from the stem end to the bottom.’
    • ‘From the perch of my small roof garden I was able to see two long ribbons of black smoke exhaling from wounds in either tower.’
    • ‘Northern lights are ribbons of different colored lights that streak across the sky.’
    • ‘It is a ribbon of material along which magnetic particles are arranged to store data.’
    • ‘Suddenly an explosion flamed in space, a ribbon of orange fire slashing out of the hull like a whip, lashing out into the blackness of space.’
    • ‘Beat the eggs with the sugar and lime peel until thick and ribbons form from the beaters when lifted.’
    • ‘An orange ribbon of flame is charring its way across more than 20,000 acres near Los Angeles.’
    1. 2.1 A narrow band of impregnated material wound on a spool and forming the inking agent in some typewriters and computer printers:
      ‘the notes had been typed on an old portable with a faded ribbon’
      • ‘Another laugh came after Moore trailed off, holding the book up so the audience could see that the typeface was fading as Stella's typewriter ribbon runs out of ink.’
      • ‘The Man's story, for example, is told through a collection of discarded typewriter ribbons that Macushla finds in the basement of his uncle's house.’
      • ‘Final reports were prepared on manual typewriters with two-color ribbons so that totals appeared in red.’
      • ‘He wrote up a report (on a typewriter, whose ribbon he destroyed afterwards) and sent it to the US embassy in Bonn.’
      • ‘My assignments never looked so good and when I wasn't printing, I'd put the ribbon in the fridge to make it last longer.’
      • ‘In 1888, the typewriter ribbon was patented by Jacob L. Wortman.’
      • ‘They drove to Grossman's typists and took their copies, and their typewriter ribbons.’
      • ‘Forensic examiners were able to reconstruct the text of what had been typed on the ribbon of this typewriter.’
      • ‘David waited tables, sold typewriter ribbons, and even delivered singing telegrams.’
      • ‘There was a time, long ago that printers had ribbons and used dot matrix printing to create tiny dots that, when looked at, were readable.’
      • ‘Each page through a printer or copier takes another bit of ink off the ribbon, or another copy off of the machine's life expectancy.’
      • ‘The first tape storage products utilized magnetic particles coated onto a thin ribbon of metal substrate.’
      • ‘For example, they are used to provide the black color in inks, pigments, rubber tires, stove polish, typewriter ribbons, and phonograph records.’
      belt, sash, girdle, strap, tape, ring, hoop, loop, circlet, circle, cord, tie, string, thong, ribbon, fillet, strip
      View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Extend or move in a long, narrow strip like a ribbon:

    ‘miles of concrete ribboned behind the bus’
    • ‘All seven colors of magic ribboned through the spell-form, which looked superficially like a gate.’
    • ‘Let it ribbon through holiday centerpieces, over mantels or stream it across doorways.’
    • ‘But dead ahead, far away across the valley where the ground began to rise sharply again in stands of pine, a narrow white swath of cleared ground ribboned through the dark trees, clearly visible.’
    • ‘When the orange mixture starts to ribbon, remove the basin and stand it in cold water to cool slightly.’
    • ‘Laura Smith's colour-crammed back-projections, with captions ribboning up the side, are now fully-fledged and better-timed.’
    • ‘The pathway is now used by people who walk, run or cycle along the scenic trails, which ribbon in and around Canmore.’
    • ‘To escape the whispers, I fled outside where wild flowers ribboned under the fence, or to the old stables.’
    • ‘Little red cuts ribboned across the top of her feet; several beads of blood gathered and threatened to fall in the aircar.’
    • ‘Freeways ribbon across picture postcard views, and there are more dulcet Kiwi tones on National Radio than I can translate fast enough.’
    • ‘The road ribboned down the steepest slopes in switchbacks so convoluted that I continually met Christina almost head-on but with my eyes level with her pedals.’
    • ‘Just when the filigree of family ties here splays open from my blood, ravelling into the mossy veins ribboning along through the dark peat, shadows in another land take form, tugging on my twine of years tangled in that other place.’

Origin

Early 16th century: variant of riband. The French spelling ruban was also frequent in the 16th–18th centuries.

Pronunciation:

ribbon

/ˈrɪb(ə)n/