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[lath, lahth] /læθ, lɑθ/
noun, plural laths
[lath z, laths, lahth z, lahths] /læðz, læθs, lɑðz, lɑθs/ (Show IPA)
a thin, narrow strip of wood, used with other strips to form latticework, a backing for plaster or stucco, a support for slates and other roofing materials, etc.
a group or quantity of such strips.
work consisting of such strips.
wire mesh or the like used in place of wooden laths as a backing for plasterwork.
a thin, narrow, flat piece of wood used for any purpose.
verb (used with object)
to cover or line with laths.
Origin of lath
before 1000; Middle English la(th)the; replacing Middle English latt, Old English lætt; cognate with German Latte, Dutch lat
Related forms
lathlike, adjective
Can be confused
lath, lathe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lath
  • In summer, you can replace the cover with shade cloth or lath, creating a nursery for cuttings.
  • It is rarely complete, and constantly tempts the imagination to flights in brick and dreams in lath and plaster.
  • Horizontal cracks are often caused by lath movement.
  • lath provided a means of holding the plaster in place.
  • lath shall be close fitted and uniformly secured to supports.
  • All lath and lath attachments shall be of corrosion-resistant materials.
  • Cuts lath to fit openings and projections using hand or portable power tools.
  • After foam is removed, place lath cut to the proper lengths along the inside perimeter of the egg tray.
  • Corner beads do not have to be in place on wallboard, but corner aide must be installed on exterior lath prior to inspection.
  • Remove and replace lath, plaster, plasterboard and drywall saturated to the point of being soft to the touch.
British Dictionary definitions for lath


noun (pl) laths (lɑːðz; lɑːθs)
one of several thin narrow strips of wood used to provide a supporting framework for plaster, tiles, etc
expanded sheet metal, wire mesh, etc, used to provide backing for plaster or rendering
any thin strip of wood
(transitive) to attach laths to (a ceiling, roof, floor, etc)
Derived Forms
lathlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English lætt; related to Dutch lat, Old High German latta
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 lath

late 13c., probably from Old English *læððe, variant of lætt "lath," apparently from a Proto-Germanic *laþþo (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse latta, Middle Dutch, German latte "lath," Dutch lat, Middle High German lade "plank," which is source of German Laden "counter," hence, "shop"). As a verb, 1530s, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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