What word does your mother always say?


[reeth] /riθ/
noun, plural wreaths
[reeth z, reeths] /riðz, riθs/ (Show IPA)
a circular band of flowers, foliage, or any ornamental work, for adorning the head or for any decorative purpose; a garland or chaplet.
any ringlike, curving, or curling mass or formation:
a wreath of clouds.
  1. a curved section of a handrail.
  2. Also called wreathpiece. a curved section of a string.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to wreathe.
Origin of wreath
before 1000; Middle English wrethe, Old English writha something wound or coiled; akin to writhe
Related forms
wreathlike, adjective
Can be confused
wraith, wreath, wreathe, writhe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for wreath
  • Even those who have never considered buying a wreath may be tempted this year.
  • Finds included metal vases, a gold wreath and weapons.
  • Nostrils pinched to block out water, an adult hippo stands in a wreath of dung stirred by its footsteps.
  • In all its ungainly, length up and down the island it will probably not receive a wreath.
  • Eucalyptus branches and pods impart a blue glow to a simple fir wreath.
  • Or a wreath covered in electric lights around a weird porcelain monkey head that has its mouth open in a scream.
  • Bay and rosemary leaves form a wreath that holds its fragrance for more than a week.
  • Place on greased round bread pan or cookie sheet and shape into a wreath.
  • Miniature carnations and spiky fir needles create a wreath that's both fragrant and strikingly elegant.
  • wreath cookies are bright and festive, whether bejeweled or simply frosted.
British Dictionary definitions for wreath


noun (pl) wreaths (riːðz; riːθs)
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
any circular or spiral band or formation
a spiral or circular defect appearing in porcelain and glassware
Derived Forms
wreathless, adjective
wreathlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wrǣth, wrǣd; related to Middle Low German wrēden to twist. See writhe
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for wreath

Old English wriða "fillet, bandage, band" (literally "that which is wound around"), from Proto-Germanic *writhon (cf. Old Norse riða, Danish vride, Old High German ridan "to turn, twist," Old Saxon, Old Frisian wreth "angry," Dutch wreed "rough, harsh, cruel," Old High German reid "twisted," Old Norse reiða "angry"), from PIE *wreit- "to turn, bend" (cf. Old English wriða "band," wriðan "to twist, torture," wraþ "angry"), from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). Meaning "ring or garland of flowers" is first recorded 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for wreath

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for wreath

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with wreath

Nearby words for wreath