a machine for use in working wood, metal, etc., that holds the material and rotates it about a horizontal axis against a tool that shapes it.
verb (used with object), lathed, lathing.
to cut, shape, or otherwise treat on a lathe.

1300–50; Middle English: frame, stand, lathe; compare Old Norse hlath stack (see lade), Danish -lad in væverlad weaver's batten, savelad saw bench

lath, lathe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lathe1 (leɪð)
1.  a machine for shaping, boring, facing, or cutting a screw thread in metal, wood, etc, in which the workpiece is turned about a horizontal axis against a fixed tool
2.  (tr) to shape, bore, or cut a screw thread in or on (a workpiece) on a lathe
[perhaps C15 lath a support, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Danish lad lathe, Old English hlæd heap]

lathe2 (leɪð)
(Brit) history any of the former administrative divisions of Kent
[Old English læth district]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"machine for turning," 1310, probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Dan. drejelad "turning-lathe," O.N. hlaða "pile of shavings under a lathe," related to hlaða "to load, lade.")
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The carpenter shop features a hand cranked fly-wheel for lathe operation.
They always left the chuck key in the lathe head or the drill press.
Model workers were rewarded with free trips-a week in the sun for a lathe
  operator or a ditch digger.
Each pick would appear to have been hand-turned on a tiny lathe, and then cured
  and tempered.
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