Definition of lace in US English:

lace

noun

  • 1A fine open fabric, typically one of cotton or silk, made by looping, twisting, or knitting thread in patterns and used especially for trimming garments.

    • ‘The shapes are a lot more feminine, the fabrics - taffeta, silk and lace - are a lot more feminine, and there are more textures involved.’
    • ‘Some of these packets were made of lace, others of cotton.’
    • ‘Inside, the decor is New England simplicity: perfectly laundered white cotton curtains edged in lace, pine furniture and iron bedsteads.’
    • ‘Here's what you get when you mix luxurious silk with a lace trim and fine ribbon lacing.’
    • ‘The young actor held a large white handkerchief trimmed with lace over his nose and mouth.’
    • ‘This outfit may be completed by a hat of lace or other fine cloth.’
    • ‘Her jeans and black shirt were replaced by a dress of blue velvet, cream silk and white lace.’
    • ‘On their wedding day, Elaine would wear white silk with lace.’
    • ‘While males worked as tailors of men's clothing, female slaves and freedwomen sewed dresses and made lace in the households and dressmaking establishments of the period.’
    • ‘The white silk and lace skirt hung low, leaving her midsection bare, and was flared slightly from the hips.’
    • ‘She had dressed in a simple dark-blue dress with a white satin belt and lace collar.’
    • ‘The back had a beautiful train of both lace and silk, which trailed four feet behind her when she walked.’
    • ‘Croft looked around, taking in the bright, sand-coloured walls, the cream drapes, the fine lace curtains about the windows.’
    • ‘Some varieties have leaves reminiscent of lace or needlepoint.’
    • ‘Upon her bed was a gown of light blue silk trimmed with white lace and satin bows running from the neck to the waist.’
    • ‘She went for the white one which featured lace and silk, but had no veil.’
    • ‘Italy's handcrafted products include fine laces, linens, glass, pottery, carved marble, leather, and gold and silver work.’
    • ‘Maybe it was her exhaustion settling in, but the thick layers of silk and lace were as comforting as a pile of blankets fresh out of the dryer.’
    • ‘If you prefer something more feminine, create fabric corsages with a strip of thin material such as lace or silk.’
    • ‘I suspect some of the lace on sale is manufactured by Chinese peasants copying Burano-Venetian lace patterns.’
    openwork, lacework, tatting, netting, net, tulle, meshwork, mesh, webbing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Braid used for trimming, especially on military dress uniforms.
      • ‘She wore a white dress edged with lace and puffed sleeves, white shoes on her feet.’
      • ‘There was gold lace down the seams on the sides of the arms showing skin.’
      • ‘Cindy had the decency to get dressed, at least, although she was dressed in a ridiculously glamorous dress with lace and frills.’
      • ‘Gold lace became confined to flag officers in both dress and undress uniforms; captains wore it only in full dress.’
      • ‘The dress was tight at the waist and the bodice was decorated with black lace from the waistline up to the low neckline.’
      • ‘I had worn a little blue velvet jacket with gold lace and now I clutched it possessively.’
      • ‘She was indeed a vision in powder blue silk, the bodice of the dress enhanced with lace and even more pearls.’
      • ‘Today, she had chosen a modest blue dress with tiny bits of lace at the bodice, sleeves, and hem.’
      • ‘The dress was full of lace and ribbons and was satiny.’
      • ‘She sat before the organ wearing a simple black dress, no lace, no detail.’
      • ‘Her thick dark hair is pulled back and straightened, and she wears a long sea-foam green dress covered in ivory lace.’
      • ‘She was a tall woman, dressed in a bright purple dress with lace, a dark blue shawl thrown about her shoulders and a black hat on her bright red hair.’
      • ‘The flashing gold epaulettes and gold lace on his 18th century naval uniform have been made by Wyedean Weaving.’
      • ‘It had simple, white lace along the collar and at the ends of the elbow length sleeves.’
      • ‘Henceforth Bentham always wore his green coat with scarlet lapels, scarlet waistcoat with gold lace, and white breeches.’
  • 2usually lacesA cord or leather strip passed through eyelets or hooks on opposite sides of a shoe or garment and then pulled tight and fastened.

    • ‘Once at home, she changed quickly into her running clothes and shoes, tying the laces tight.’
    • ‘Pulling on some old black shoes and tying the laces, he ran down the stairs and barreled into his older sister.’
    • ‘For increased efficiency, you may have a tendency to fasten your laces very tight.’
    • ‘She put on her brown Soda brand shoes with the beige laces.’
    • ‘She found a thick leather vest and put it on top of the shirt, pulling the laces tight.’
    • ‘As she pulled at the laces of the tight whalebone corset, she gave a little gasp.’
    • ‘The women had been tied with shoe laces, the men with nylon rope, and plastic shopping bags were used to blindfold them.’
    • ‘I'll set this straight once and for all: dress shoes don't necessarily require laces.’
    • ‘I quickly put on my shoes without tying the laces.’
    • ‘Julius finished tying the laces on his second shoe, stood and turned to Yoshiro.’
    • ‘We don't need clean clothes or new laces in our shoes.’
    • ‘I was wearing some old shoes and the laces are always coming undone.’
    • ‘He lingered in the doorway and waited as she hastily fastened the laces and tied the anklet around her heel.’
    • ‘Wyatt said he pulled the laces out of two pairs of shoes and he and Rattigan both tied her up.’
    • ‘He looked like any number of panhandlers that frequent the area; his clothes were stained, his shoes had no laces.’
    • ‘Don't try to compensate for a gaping shoe by tying the laces too tightly.’
    • ‘These workers are everywhere in the streets, selling such things as candy, shoe laces, toys, fruits, gum, incense or belt buckles.’
    • ‘She began to unbuckle her sandals, as I loosened the laces on my shoes.’
    • ‘I saw several wrestlers in the corner already dressed in gym clothes, tying up the laces on their shoes.’
    • ‘Pulling the laces tight, she frowns as she fumbles when trying to tie them.’
    shoelace, bootlace, shoestring, lacing, string, cord, thong, twine, tie
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Fasten or tighten (a shoe or garment) by tying the laces.

    ‘he put the shoes on and laced them up’
    • ‘Entering, she found her brother in the parlor lacing his shoes.’
    • ‘Soldiers laced their boots in any way they liked.’
    • ‘The way shoes are laced can prevent specific problems.’
    • ‘She quickly finished lacing her shoes and looked outside and saw the town as it normally was at dawn.’
    • ‘Marshall was lacing his shoes when his brother came in and jumped onto the end of his bed.’
    • ‘I laced my skates and stepped forth with ankles wobbling and feet that felt bound.’
    • ‘Instead, I laced my running shoes and slipped some shorts over a pair of leggings.’
    • ‘Do you lace your boots all the way to the top loop?’
    • ‘He didn't respond, and she looked over to see him lacing his boots.’
    • ‘I gave him a look from where I sat on the bed, lacing my sneakers.’
    • ‘He was just finishing lacing his boots when Luken awoke.’
    • ‘One afternoon as I woke up from a nap, I looked at the watch, laced my shoes in a hurry and ran to the bus-stop.’
    • ‘He rose with a groan the next morning and pulled his clothes back on, lacing his shoes with some difficulty.’
    • ‘As she finished lacing the tall boots and fastening the large belt buckle, she felt strangely different, unfamiliar even to herself.’
    • ‘The comparison is ridiculous, and at the moment he couldn't lace Hall's boots.’
    • ‘‘That was around the time we first met too,’ he said as he finished lacing his skates, slowly standing up.’
    • ‘He straightened, and I knelt down and placed his foot in the shoe and laced it up, and did the same to the other.’
    • ‘He zipped his black duffel bag and laced his boots.’
    • ‘I situated myself down on the arm of the couch, now fully dressed as I laced my sneakers up.’
    • ‘She laced her tennis shoes, all the while glaring at Roger.’
    fasten, do up, tie up, secure
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    1. 1.1 Compress the waist of (someone) with a laced corset.
      ‘Rosina laced her up tight to show off her neat, pretty waist’
    2. 1.2lace someone into Fasten someone into (a garment) by tightening the laces.
      ‘Morris laced Bill and David into boxing gloves’
      • ‘As soon as I can buy some I will have my husband lace me into it and take pictures on our new camera.’
      • ‘There's a lot of lacing in it; it takes quite a while to lace me into it in the mornings.’
      • ‘Next, a scruffy-looking student enthusiastically volunteered to lace him into a straightjacket and secure him with padlocks and chains.’
      • ‘It is quite likely that she will lace you into a corset.’
      • ‘It took two of us to lace her into that corset and we helped with her veil.’
      • ‘Have someone lace you into the corset rather than trying to get into it with the laces loosened.’
      • ‘I needed two people to lace me into the thing.’
      • ‘If my black thigh high, lace up boots are requested, the client will be expected to lace me into them at the beginning of the session.’
      • ‘She gets out a piece of string and somehow laces me into it.’
      • ‘And thanks to you and Jon both for helping lace me into that medieval dress.’
      • ‘Finally, about 4 years ago I got up enough nerve to allow a salesgirl to lace me into a corset for the first time.’
      • ‘This corset was largely a favor to Jeff, who was sick of having to lace me into things.’
      • ‘The Widow is a corset which the young Edmund is required to lace her into.’
      • ‘It took her governess and maid about half an hour to lace her into them.’
      • ‘Moira decided to put on one of her corsets too, so I helped lace her into a full-length cream satin-covered Victorian corset with lace edging and the most beautiful ribbon garters, six of them in all.’
      • ‘It fastened down the back, and matron had to lace me into it for each performance.’
      • ‘‘Take a deep breath’ says Elise, and she proceeds to lace me into the corset.’
      • ‘I have a steel-boned underbust corset that I can wear for you too, or I can bring it along for you to lace me into.’
      • ‘After giving him full instructions on how to lace me into it, I was blindfolded and I heard him unlock the door to one of our unused rooms into which he led me.’
      • ‘I would love to meet her and lace her into an exquisite Lace Embrace corset.’
    3. 1.3no object (of a garment or shoe) be fastened by means of laces.
      ‘the shoes laced at the front’
      • ‘I also had my knee length combat boots that laced up in the front.’
      • ‘The bodice laced up in the front with cream-colored ribbon, which tied off at the waist.’
      • ‘A shoe that laces will allow for adjustment across this area.’
  • 2Entwine or tangle (things, especially fingers) together.

    ‘he laced his fingers together and sat back’
    • ‘Cris grinned at her and hopped up onto the couch, lacing his fingers together as he winked.’
    • ‘Subjects laced their fingers together and placed their hands at the back of their head.’
    • ‘He pulled his arm back, laced his fingers together, and propped his chin on them.’
    • ‘Cordelia took his hands in hers and laced their fingers together.’
    • ‘The commander laced his fingers together, resting his hands on his stomach as he tilted his head and stared at the wall.’
    • ‘He brought both hands over his head and laced his fingers together.’
    • ‘You have the option of lacing your fingers together behind your head or putting your arms on the floor beside your body.’
    • ‘She closed her eyes and pressed her hands together, lacing her fingers.’
    • ‘Place your hands behind your head for support, but don't lace your fingers together.’
    • ‘She took a deep breath and pressed her palms together, lacing her fingers and closing her eyes.’
    • ‘I moved closer to him and took his hand in mine, lacing our fingers together.’
    • ‘Jade chuckled, taking my hands and lacing our fingers together.’
    • ‘Jordan reached for her hand and laced their fingers together.’
    • ‘He laced his fingers together under his head and crossed his legs, looking at her.’
    • ‘I laced my fingers together, sighing and looking down at the glittering, clear, ashtray in the middle of our table.’
    • ‘He grabbed my other hand and laced our fingers together and smiled down at me.’
    • ‘She leaned forward, lacing her fingers together and resting her chin on them.’
    • ‘She stopped biting her nails and laced her fingers together behind her head, relaxing.’
    • ‘He rested his elbows on the arms of it and laced his fingers together, looking at me over the top of his reading glasses.’
    • ‘Steve raises both arms above his head, laces his fingers together and leans back into the cradle they've made.’
    entwine, intertwine, twine, entangle, interweave, interlink, link
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    1. 2.1lace something through Pass a lace or cord through (a hole).
      • ‘You want to make this long enough so that you don't run out of thread before you are done lacing it through the body twice.’
      • ‘Pull hard on the laces when you lace them through the holes.’
      • ‘She tied her pocket closed with jute twine by lacing it through holes she punched in the corners.’
      • ‘You could take black satin ribbon and lace it through the big stitches for extra effect.’
      • ‘Make a twisted cord or use a ribbon, and lace it through the eyelets.’
      • ‘Running decklines through the loops of these device requires the kayak operator to unlash the decklines and lace them through the loops, then re-lash the lines.’
      • ‘When finished with the length you want, take the strands off the bobbins and lace them through the holes in the edge of the pouch, two strands per side.’
  • 3usually be laced withAdd an ingredient, especially alcohol, to (a drink or dish) to enhance its flavor or strength.

    ‘he gave us coffee laced with brandy’
    • ‘‘Shoot the kid,’ he commanded, though his voice was laced slightly with fear.’
    • ‘The 33-year-old woman drank the Valkanov vodka - laced with methanol - which was probably brewed in a home-made still.’
    • ‘It may arise where the accused is drugged by others or his drink is laced with alcohol.’
    • ‘Yes, we have all tried the good old brandy, laced with honey to cure the common cold and sore throat, but this was a new discovery for me.’
    • ‘Noah had calmed down after a couple of drinks, mainly coffee laced with alcohol.’
    • ‘The tea is laced with lotus seeds and 2 red dates.’
    • ‘Tabu does full justice to the spirit of Lady Macbeth; scheming, greedy, manipulative, yet not stonehearted enough to drink wine laced with blood.’
    • ‘Their streets were grimy and gritty, awash in alcohol and laced with drugs.’
    • ‘He described how he drugged Jaruwan in her room by serving her a drink laced with a sedative.’
    • ‘Her voice was laced with as much bitter anger as she dared use.’
    • ‘At least 137 people have died in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi after drinking an alcoholic brew laced with methanol.’
    • ‘This pasta dish is laced with vibrant colour and wonderful flavour.’
    • ‘The thread of disbelief in his voice was laced with a subtle smear of sympathy.’
    • ‘‘Or he may still be asleep,’ Kevin replied, a hint of annoyance and irritation lacing his voice.’
    • ‘His voice was laced with danger and intent to hurt.’
    • ‘Marcey's usual strong voice was laced with uneasiness.’
    • ‘Many more women, and gay men, find their drinks laced with a whole host of other illegal and prescription drugs or alcohol.’
    • ‘When I was ill, our butler caught Charles lacing my tea with some sort of substance.’
    • ‘Since when has a harmless serving of milk been laced with alcohol?’
    • ‘His voice was laced with desperation as he blacked out, his arm dropping.’
    flavour, mix, mix in, blend, fortify, strengthen, stiffen, season, spice, spice up, imbue, infuse, enrich, enliven, liven up
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    1. 3.1 Give (something) a particular feature or quality.
      ‘the script is laced with expletives’
      ‘her brown hair was laced with gray’
  • 4US Hit (something, especially a baseball) hard.

    ‘he laced a double down the first-base line’
    • ‘Gary Sheffield led off, lacing a double down the leftfield line, and Hideki Matsui followed with a broken-bat single up the middle.’
    • ‘You can bring in a pitcher that has faced a guy who has gotten just one hit off him in 12 at-bats and the guy laces a double down the line.’
    • ‘But Bernie Williams further tormented Millar by lacing another double down the rightfield line, scoring two runs, both charged to Schilling's room.’
    • ‘He promptly laced a double off the fence to give the A's a 3-2 victory and the championship.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • lace into

    • Assail or tackle (something)

      ‘Marion laced into her opponent with a blistering criticism’
      • ‘One group he laces into is the Royal Society - its astronomers, physicists, and mathematicians.’
      set upon, fall on, attack, assault, assail, beat, thrash, tear into, turn on, set about, lash out at, round on, drub, thump, batter, hammer, pummel, hit out at, strike out at, fly at, let fly at, weigh into, belabour
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French laz, las (noun), lacier (verb), based on Latin laqueus ‘noose’ (also an early sense in English). Compare with lasso.

Pronunciation

lace

/lās//leɪs/