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[plad] /plæd/
any fabric woven of differently colored yarns in a crossbarred pattern.
a pattern of this kind.
a long, rectangular piece of cloth, usually with such a pattern and worn across the left shoulder by Scottish Highlanders.
having the pattern of a plaid.
Origin of plaid
1505-15; < Scots Gaelic plaide blanket, plaid (def 3) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for plaid
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I was wet all night, but kept wrapt up in my plaid and as warm as I could manage.

  • She had on a plaid shawl of purple, green, and red checkers, crossed on her bosom.

  • She took the plaid from under him and spread it over his body to protect it from the snow.

    The Pilots of Pomona Robert Leighton
  • Nor less emphatic is his railing at the plaid and blaspheming at the claymore.

    The Book-Hunter John Hill Burton
  • "We shall be disturbed here, monsieur," said Count Victor, hesitating as the other put off his plaid and coat.

    Doom Castle Neil Munro
British Dictionary definitions for plaid


/plæd; pleɪd/
a long piece of cloth of a tartan pattern, worn over the shoulder as part of Highland costume
  1. a crisscross weave or cloth
  2. (as modifier): a plaid scarf
Word Origin
C16: from Scottish Gaelic plaide, of obscure origin
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 plaid

1510s, from Scottish, from or related to Gaelic plaide "blanket, mantle," of unknown origin, perhaps a contraction of peallaid "sheepskin," from peall "skin," from Latin pellis (but OED finds this "phonetically improbable"). The wearing of it by males forbidden by act of parliament, under penalty of transportation, 1746-82. As an adjective c.1600, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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