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[tap-uh-stree] /ˈtæp ə stri/
noun, plural tapestries.
a fabric consisting of a warp upon which colored threads are woven by hand to produce a design, often pictorial, used for wall hangings, furniture coverings, etc.
a machine-woven reproduction of this.
verb (used with object), tapestried, tapestrying.
to furnish, cover, or adorn with tapestry.
to represent or depict in a tapestry.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English tapst(e)ry, tapistry < Middle French tapisserie carpeting. See tapis, -ery
Related forms
tapestrylike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tapestries
  • She is alert to the calculation in a silk cloak, the spin in a street hung with tapestries and the collateral in jewels.
  • In one of the oldest wards of this hospital, a series of brilliant tapestries is being restored.
  • See hammered metal sculptures, intricately woven tapestries, and handmade carvings of saints.
  • Imposing medieval look: turrets and gargoyles, tapestries and stag heads.
  • My personal favorite room holds a number of tapestries in it.
  • The museum also has collections of ceramics, tapestries and photography.
  • All rooms are soundproof and mattresses, linens and tapestries are fire resistant.
  • The great tapestries of trees had darkened to ghosts back at the last edge of twilight.
  • More than thirty tapestries made from the designs of various contemporary artists.
  • There are pictures of them in tapestries from the fifteenth century.
British Dictionary definitions for tapestries


noun (pl) -tries
a heavy ornamental fabric, often in the form of a picture, used for wall hangings, furnishings, etc, and made by weaving coloured threads into a fixed warp
another word for needlepoint
a colourful and complicated situation: the rich tapestry of London life
Derived Forms
tapestried, adjective
tapestry-like, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Old French tapisserie carpeting, from Old French tapiz carpet; see tapis
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 tapestries



mid-15c., variant of tapissery (early 15c.), from Middle French tapisserie "tapestry" (14c.), from tapisser "to cover with heavy fabric," from tapis "heavy fabric," from Old French tapiz (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *tappetium, from Byzantine Greek tapetion, from classical Greek, diminutive of tapes (genitive tapetos) "tapestry, heavy fabric," probably from an Iranian source (cf. Persian taftan, tabidan "to turn, twist"). The figurative use is first recorded 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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