Definition of herringbone in US English:



  • 1An arrangement or design consisting of columns of short parallel lines, with all the lines in one column sloping one way and all the lines in the next column sloping the other way so as to resemble the bones in a fish, used especially in the weave of cloth or the placing of bricks.

    ‘a brown wool herringbone jacket’
    • ‘When trying to widen a space, square tiles should be laid in a diamond pattern and rectangular tiles should be laid in a brick or herringbone pattern.’
    • ‘More baffles, in a herringbone pattern, will also be placed on the face of the weir, causing the speed of flow to be reduced, which will make it easier for the fish to swim up and over the weir.’
    • ‘For classic country casual, mix suede and leather upholstery with tweeds and herringbones; Wesley-Barrell is an expert in this field.’
    • ‘Blended checks, speckled materials and colourful herringbones amid reversible two colour fabrics all make impact.’
    • ‘Scandatex is made from glass, woven into hessian or herringbone meshes.’
    • ‘And look to menswear-inspired tweeds, checks and herringbone patterns for added panache.’
    • ‘You can't go wrong with a pair of dress pants in tweed, herringbone, or wool or cotton with stretch.’
    • ‘Both are available in planks, strips, or patterns such as herringbone or basket weave.’
    • ‘Satin is used in a host of applications, while the fashionable tweed and herringbone patterns in wool fabrics likewise seek sheen.’
    • ‘‘In the old days in a bad rainstorm, the farmer went out with a hoe and cut herringbones off the side of the road, so the water would go off the side instead of washing out the middle of the road,’ Lanoie said.’
    • ‘This fall you'll see rich fabrics such as wool, tweed and herringbone in colors like burgundy, navy, brown, and beige.’
    • ‘A dog-leg staircase which has the original wrought-iron railing leads to the first floor landing with herringbone parquet flooring.’
    • ‘The 60's inspired schoolgirl suit in herringbone or tweed gets a modern edge thanks to Marc Jacobs.’
    • ‘The veins look like most deciduous trees - there's a middle straight vein and subdividing branches that interlock (unlike the herringbone banana leaves).’
    • ‘The usual order was for pine, fir, cedar, oak, walnut, beech - anything, as long as it was wood and could be tortured into intricate designs of diagonals, herringbones, diamonds, checkerboards.’
    • ‘The lot has 54 spaces arranged in a herringbone pattern.’
    • ‘He looked up, hardly able to see her through the herringbone patterns that coruscated in front of his eyes.’
    • ‘The branches are parallel to one another, and the aggregate resembles the skeleton of a fish or the fabric pattern known as herringbone.’
    • ‘If color is not your thing, opt for texture: ribs, herringbones, lace, and jacquards.’
    • ‘To achieve a mod herringbone pattern, three panels of diagonal white and black stripes are pieced together for this 5x8-foot Sedona rug from Colonial Hills.’
    1. 1.1 A cross-stitch with a pattern resembling herringbone, used in embroidery or for securing an edge.
      • ‘Woven reeds, grasses and bamboos perfectly complement tailored herringbone-edge bindings.’
      • ‘This herringbone stitch looks deceptively easy to knit, as you are knitting and purling on both sides of the fabric, it can get a bit fiddly and tricky, since the pattern is difficult to read from the pattern.’
      • ‘In the course of ten classes she would learn to hem, fell seams, draw threads, gather stitches, edge buttonholes, sew on buttons, make herringbone stitches, darn holes, tuck pleats, and mark linen.’
      • ‘The outfit at the Guildhall was an oyster silk basket-weave coat with herringbone stitch embroidery and a chiffon dress with appliqué woven lacquered disc detail.’
  • 2Skiing
    A method of ascending a slope by walking forward in alternate steps with each ski angled outward.

    • ‘Giving up on V-1, I resorted to a herringbone climb.’
    • ‘When the hill gets too steep, the snow too deep, or the herringbone too tiring, it is time to side step.’
    • ‘Ski instruction, taught to officers by civilians, included herringbone climbing, kick turns, pole-jumping over logs and snowplows.’
    • ‘All the downhill momentum I was banking on didn't last; it was sucked away in my first step up the hill - back to herringbone.’
    • ‘The herringbone uses the edges of the ski to grip the snow when the wax or waxless pattern is inadequate to the job.’


  • 1with object Mark with a herringbone pattern.

    • ‘Some of the walls were herringboned with neat chisel marks from the old days, beautiful under the flashlight's beam.’
    • ‘Once its wide streets were herringboned with utes and Holdens and Fords parked in the pepper-tree shade.’
    1. 1.1 Work with a herringbone stitch.
  • 2Skiing
    no object, with adverbial of direction Ascend a slope using the herringbone technique.

    ‘we learned how to herringbone up the hills and swoosh down them’
    • ‘After herringboning up the powdery side of Sentinal Dome, we skied over to a rocky outcrop where a scraggly old tree clung to the rocks.’
    • ‘Steep narrow hills, barely wide enough to herringbone, were followed by quick descents onto icy lakes.’
    • ‘A line of skiers stretches forever as they herringbone toward the heavens.’
    • ‘Either way, he was forced to expend energy herringboning up all but the easiest of climbs.’
    • ‘He promptly herringboned up a nearby slope and came down, making a nice-looking turn on the way.’