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[weyn-skoh-ting, -skot-ing, -skuh-ting] /ˈweɪn skoʊ tɪŋ, -skɒt ɪŋ, -skə tɪŋ/
paneling or woodwork with which rooms, hallways, etc., are wainscoted.
wainscots collectively.
Also, especially British, wainscotting
[weyn-skuh-ting, -skot-ing] /ˈweɪn skə tɪŋ, -skɒt ɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
Origin of wainscoting
1570-80; wainscot + -ing1


[weyn-skuh t, -skot, -skoht] /ˈweɪn skət, -skɒt, -skoʊt/
wood, especially oak and usually in the form of paneling, for lining interior walls.
the lining itself, especially as covering the lower portion of a wall.
a dado, especially of wood, lining an interior wall.
British. oak of superior quality and cut, imported from the Baltic countries for fine woodwork.
verb (used with object), wainscoted, wainscoting or (especially British) wainscotted, wainscotting.
to line the walls of (a room, hallway, etc.) with or as if with woodwork:
a room wainscoted in oak.
1325-75; Middle English < Middle Low German or Middle Dutch wagenschot, equivalent to wagen wain + schot (< ?)
Related forms
unwainscoted, adjective
unwainscotted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wainscoting
  • The halls are rich with oaken wainscoting and ceiling.
  • Above this wainscoting of grime rose thousands of scrawled names.
  • The rustic setting includes wainscoting, cherry wood furnishings, white table cloths and big game animals mounted on the walls.
  • The library leads to an exquisite formal dining room with wainscoting and crown molding.
  • Hand-painted murals, gilt ceilings and marble wainscoting have been restored, and the main stage was refurbished.
  • In the main wing of the manor house, the formal dining room with fireplace boasts an intricately detailed ceiling and wainscoting.
  • wainscoting in all establishments must meet the same requirements as kitchen areas.
  • On the inside, the lobby has a terrazzo floor and wood wainscoting.
  • The room is finished in ash wood wainscoting, tinted plaster walls and oak floors.
  • Atypical features include the triple entry and exterior wainscoting.
British Dictionary definitions for wainscoting


Also called wainscoting, wainscotting. a lining applied to the walls of a room, esp one of wood panelling
the lower part of the walls of a room, esp when finished in a material different from the upper part
fine quality oak used as wainscot
(transitive) to line (a wall of a room) with a wainscot
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Low German wagenschot, perhaps from wagenwagon + schot planking, related to German Scheit piece of wood
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for wainscoting



mid-14c., "imported oak of superior quality," probably from Middle Dutch or Middle Flemish waghenscote "superior quality oak wood, board used for paneling" (though neither of these is attested as early as the English word), related to Middle Low German wagenschot (late 14c.), from waghen (see wagon) + scote "partition, crossbar." So called perhaps because the wood originally was used for wagon building and coachwork. Meaning "panels lining the walls of rooms" is recorded from 1540s. Wainscoting is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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