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[dey-doh] /ˈdeɪ doʊ/
noun, plural dadoes, dados.
Also called die. Architecture. the part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice or cap.
the lower broad part of an interior wall finished in wallpaper, a fabric, paint, etc.
Carpentry. a groove or rectangular section for receiving the end of a board.
verb (used with object)
to provide with a dado.
Verb phrases
dado in, to insert (a board or the like) into a dado.
Origin of dado
1655-65; < Italian: die, cube, pedestal, perhaps < Arabic dad game Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dado
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Victoria walked up to her bedroom; the staircase was papered with a pretty blue and white pattern over a dado of white lincrusta.

    A Bed of Roses W. L. George
  • There was the same parquet floor, and dado of shiny pitchpine.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • In book shelves a gain gives a better appearance than a dado.

    Handwork in Wood William Noyes
  • Somehow it reminded them of the dado of a nursery wall-paper.

  • The dado may or may not be varnished; the upper part of the wall can only be "dead" (not varnished—dull).

    Principles of Decorative Design Christopher Dresser
  • Knife grooves are made in the waste for starting the saw as in the dado.

    Handwork in Wood William Noyes
  • Above the dado, and on the wooden panels of ceiling, will be the birds, etc.

  • It is the background for the furniture, and should be deeper than the dado or wainscoting.

    Color Value C. R. Clifford
British Dictionary definitions for dado


noun (pl) -does, -dos
the lower part of an interior wall that is decorated differently from the upper part
(architect) the part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice
(transitive) to provide with a dado
Word Origin
C17: from Italian: die, die-shaped pedestal, perhaps from Arabic dad game
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dado

1660s, of pedestals, from Italian dado "die, cube," from Latin datum (see die (n.)). Of wood panelling in a room, from 1787.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for dado


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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