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From Middle English tapiestre, from Old French tapisserie (tapestry), from Ancient Greek τάπης (tápēs), from an Iranian source.


  • enPR: tă'pəstrē, IPA(key): /ˈtæpəstɹi/
  • (file)
Tapestry Room from Croome Court.


tapestry (countable and uncountable, plural tapestries)

  1. A heavy woven cloth, often with decorative pictorial designs, normally hung on walls.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, in The China Governess[1]:
      Sepia Delft tiles surrounded the fireplace, their crudely drawn Biblical scenes in faded cyclamen blending with the pinkish pine, while above them, instead of a mantelshelf, there was an archway high enough to form a balcony with slender balusters and a tapestry-hung wall behind.
  2. (by extension) Anything with variegated or complex details.
    • 2013 January-February, Nancy Langston, “The Fraught History of a Watery World”, in American Scientist[2], volume 101, number 1, archived from the original on 22 January 2013, page 59:
      European adventurers found themselves within a watery world, a tapestry of streams, channels, wetlands, lakes and lush riparian meadows enriched by floodwaters from the Mississippi River.


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tapestry (third-person singular simple present tapestries, present participle tapestrying, simple past and past participle tapestried)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To decorate with tapestry, or as if with a tapestry.
    • 1833, Adolphus Slade, Records of Travels in Turkey, Greece, &c.[3], "Captain Pasha's Alarm", page 152:
      We had run above twenty miles when the sun set, carpeting the sea, and tapestrying the sky with a rare unison of delicate green and golden hues []
    • 1854 September 13, Nathaniel Hawthorne, English Note-Books[4], "Conway Castle":
      The banqueting-hall, all open to the sky, and with thick curtains of ivy tapestrying the walls, and grass and weeds growing on the arches that overpass it, is indescribably beautiful.
    • 1921, Israel Zangwill, The Cockpit: Romantic Drama in Three Acts[5], page 255:
      I present Bosnavina to its Duchess, I kiss the hem of her Majesty's robe and will tapestry her Palace with conquered flags.


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