Definition of dado in English:



  • 1The lower part of the wall of a room, below about waist height, if it is a different color or has a different covering than the upper part.

    • ‘This technique is best used on doors, paneling, dados, baseboards and also as a subtle wall finish.’
    • ‘Wallcovering which covers the lower part of the wall, or dado, and ending at the chair rail height.’
    • ‘The room had dark wood panelling, cream paint above the dado, a muted silver ceiling, and comfortably padded brown leather chairs.’
    • ‘In this period wallpapers were conceived as an ensemble of three parts: the paper used on the dado, the paper from the dado to ceiling border (known as fill), and the border, or frieze.’
    • ‘The ceiling was enormously high with elaborate plasterwork round the remains of a nonexistent chandelier and an opulent floral dado.’
    1. 1.1North American A groove cut in the face of a board, into which the edge of another board is fixed.
      • ‘Use a framing square to draw a line on the outside of the plywood for each dado joint so when finishing nails are used they will penetrate the shelves and not be visible on the inside.’
      • ‘Check your plans for the exact location of the dado cuts.’
      • ‘Guide wood along the blade to make the dado grooves.’
      • ‘Check the plans for the specified depth and thickness of all your dado and rabbet cuts.’
      • ‘Cut a replacement tread and insert it into the dados in the stringers.’
    2. 1.2Architecture The part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice.
      • ‘We are therefore reminded of a pedestal of which the base, dado and cornice were alike, wholly clad in bronze.’


Mid 17th century (denoting the main part of a pedestal, above the base): from Italian, literally dice or cube from Latin datum something given, starting point (see datum).