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A braid

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English braiden, breiden, bræiden, from Old English breġdan (to move quickly, pull, shake, swing, throw (wrestling), draw (sword), drag; bend, weave, braid, knit, join together; change color, vary, be transformed; bind, knot; move, be pulled; flash), from Proto-West Germanic *bregdan, from Proto-Germanic *bregdaną (to flicker, flutter, jerk, tug, twitch, flinch, move, swing), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrēḱ-, *bʰrēǵ- (to shine, shimmer).

Cognate with Scots Scots brade, Scots braid (to move quickly or suddenly), Saterland Frisian braidje (to knit), West Frisian breidzje, Dutch breien (to knit), Low German breiden, German breiden, Bavarian bretten (to move quickly, twitch), Icelandic bregða (to move quickly, jerk), Faroese bregða (to move quickly, react swiftly; to draw (sword)) and Faroese bregda (to plaid, braid, twist, twine).

Alternative forms[edit]



braid (third-person singular simple present braids, present participle braiding, simple past and past participle braided)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To make a sudden movement with, to jerk.
  2. (archaic, intransitive) To start into motion.
  3. (transitive) To weave together, intertwine (strands of fibers, ribbons, etc.); to arrange (hair) in braids.
  4. To mix, or make uniformly soft, by beating, rubbing, or straining, as in preparing food.
  5. (obsolete) To reproach; to upbraid.
Derived terms[edit]


braid (plural braids)

  1. (obsolete) A sudden movement; a jerk, a wrench. [11th-17thc.]
    • a. 1472, Thomas Malory, “Capitulum ii”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book XII, [London: [] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: David Nutt, [], 1889, OCLC 890162034:
      And than in a brayde Sir Launcelot brake hys chaynes of hys legges and of hys armys (and in the brakynge he hurte hys hondys sore) [].
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • 1561, Thomas Sackville, Ferrex and Porrex[2], Act IV, scene ii, lines 1274–7:
      He fixt vpon my face, which to my death / Will neuer part fro me, when with a braide / A deepe fet sigh he gaue, and therewithall / Clasping his handes, to heauen he cast his sight.
  2. A weave of three or more strands of fibers, ribbons, cords or hair often for decoration. [from 16thc.]
  3. A stranded wire composed of a number of smaller wires twisted together
  4. A tubular sheath made of braided strands of metal placed around a central cable for shielding against electromagnetic interference.
  5. (obsolete) A caprice or outburst of passion or anger.
    • 1540, Juan Luis Vives, chapter 2, in Richard Hyrde, transl., Instruction of a Christian Woman:
      Let the maide learne none uncleanly words, or wanton, or uncomely gesture and moving of the body, no not so much as when she is yet ignorant what shee doth, and innocent; for shee shall doe the same, when shee is growne bigger and of more discretion, [] And oftentimes such braides come uppon them against their will.

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


braid (comparative more braid, superlative most braid)

  1. (obsolete) Deceitful.





  1. Romanization of 𐌱𐍂𐌰𐌹𐌳



braid f

  1. (archaic, dialectal) dative singular of brad


Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
braid bhraid mbraid
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of breid