8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary


[doi-lee] /ˈdɔɪ li/
noun, plural doilies.
any small, ornamental mat, as of embroidery or lace.
Archaic. a small napkin, as one used during a dessert course.
Also, doyley.
1670-80; named after a London draper of the late 17th century Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for doilies
  • Their seats are decorated with doilies and sheathed in plastic.
  • In addition to creating the traditional lace decoration for holy vestments, she made doilies, which were much in demand.
  • Her fingers fly as she crochets original home furnishings, from decorative doilies to kingsized bedspreads.
  • Cloth or paper doilies are not approved candle liners.
British Dictionary definitions for doilies


noun (pl) -lies, -leys
a decorative mat of lace or lacelike paper, etc, laid on or under plates
Word Origin
C18: named after Doily, a London draper
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 doilies



1714, short for doily-napkin (1711), from doily "thin, woolen fabric;" supposedly from Doiley, surname of a 17c.-early 18c. dry-goods dealer on London's Strand. Doily earlier meant "genteel, affordable woolens" (1670s), evidently from the same source. The surname is d'Ouilly, from one of several places called Ouilly in Normandy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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