|—n , pl wreaths|
|1.||a band of flowers or foliage intertwined into a ring, usually placed on a grave as a memorial or worn on the head as a garland or a mark of honour|
|2.||any circular or spiral band or formation|
|3.||a spiral or circular defect appearing in porcelain and glassware|
|[Old English wrǣth, wrǣd; related to Middle Low German wrēden to twist. See |
circular garland, usually woven of flowers, leaves, and foliage, that traditionally indicates honour or celebration. The wreath in ancient Egypt was most popular in the form of a chaplet made by sewing flowers to linen bands and tying them around the head. In ancient Greece, wreaths, usually made of olive, pine, laurel, celery, or palm, were awarded to athletes victorious in the Olympic Games and as prizes to poets and orators. Young lovers in ancient Greece hung wreaths on their lovers' doorways as a sign of affection. In Rome also, laurel crowns were bestowed as a mark of honour, especially on civil officials and returning warriors. During the Italian Renaissance (c. 15th-16th centuries), the custom of wearing wreaths on festive occasions was revived. Later, in Victorian England, a floral wreath sometimes surrounded the chair of the guest of honour at a banquet.
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