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[ahy-lit] /ˈaɪ lɪt/
a small hole, usually round and finished along the edge, as in cloth or leather for the passage of a lace or cord or as in embroidery for ornamental effect.
a lightweight fabric pierced by small holes finished with stitching and often laid out in flowerlike designs.
a metal ring for lining a small hole; grommet.
an eyehole in a wall, mask, etc.
Also, oillet, oyelet, oylet. (in medieval architecture) a small aperture in a wall used as a window or loophole.
a small eye.
verb (used with object), eyeleted or eyeletted, eyeleting or eyeletting.
to make an eyelet in.
to insert metal eyelets in.
Origin of eyelet
1350-1400; Middle English oillet < Old French oillet, equivalent to oill eye (< Latin oculus; see ocular) + -et -et; influenced by eye Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for eyelet
  • The lake's three greens know, and its darker churning, and its eyelet edge.
  • We had rented the fussy apartment of a bachelor professor-every wall sateen, every curtain eyelet.
  • Intricate cobalt embroidery dresses up a collarless plaid trench coat, which is paired with a soft romper and an eyelet collar.
  • The designers mix lady chic and glam, pairing an eyelet suit with a fur purse.
  • Sew the rope holes or reinforce with a metal eyelet to prevent tearing.
  • He could barely keep his straw, feather and leather eyelet creations on their hat stands.
  • Bending a tiny eyelet on the end, so it holds a drop of water.
  • Putting a water solution with chemicals on that eyelet.
  • The pantalettes are of cotton with eyelet embroidery.
  • Tie the loose end of the line to the eyelet of a barrel swivel.
British Dictionary definitions for eyelet


a small hole for a lace or cord to be passed through or for a hook to be inserted into
a small metal ring or tube with flared ends bent back, reinforcing an eyehole in fabric
a chink or small opening, such as a peephole in a wall
  1. a small hole with finely stitched edges, forming part of an ornamental pattern
  2. Also called eyelet embroidery. a piece of embroidery decorated with such work
fabric decorated with such work produced by machine
a small eye or eyelike marking
(transitive) to supply with an eyelet or eyelets
Word Origin
C14: from Old French oillet, literally: a little eye, from oill eye, from Latin oculus eye; see eye1
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 eyelet

"small hole," late 14c., oilet, from Middle French oeillet, diminutive of oeil "eye," from Latin oculus (see eye (n.)). Spelling influenced by eye.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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