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[trey-suh-ree] /ˈtreɪ sə ri/
noun, plural traceries.
ornamental work consisting of ramified ribs, bars, or the like, as in the upper part of a Gothic window, in panels, screens, etc.
any delicate, interlacing work of lines, threads, etc., as in carving or embroidery; network.
Origin of tracery
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; see trace1, -ery Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tracery
  • The flowers were awash in light, the glow radiated from around the stone tracery in the window.
  • The delicate tracery of a rose-window, in diamonds and platinum, on a field of deepest blue enamel.
  • Railroads had begun to knit the interior of the nation into an iron tracery of ceaseless, smoke-belching movement.
  • Her skin was transparent under the sun, revealing a red tracery of veins.
  • Two pairs of windows as well as terra cotta spandrels with a tracery design are positioned between the pilasters.
  • The portico's entablature features a frieze with arched cutouts and its tympanum boasts a circular window with floral tracery.
  • The pediment contains a semi-elliptical window with tracery.
  • The door is surmounted by a half-round fanlight and is flanked by fluted pilasters and sidelights with delicate tracery-work.
  • To either side is a gable-roofed dormer with a round-arched window with tracery.
  • Some of the original tracery, particularly at the entrances, has been removed and the design modified over the years.
British Dictionary definitions for tracery


noun (pl) -eries
a pattern of interlacing ribs, esp as used in the upper part of a Gothic window, etc
any fine pattern resembling this
Derived Forms
traceried, adjective
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 tracery

mid-15c., "a place for drawing," formed in English from trace (v.) + -ery. Architectural sense, in reference to intersecting rib work in the upper part of a gothic window, is attested from 1660s. "Introduced by Wren, who described it as a masons' term," according to Weekley.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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