1. A cord or ribbon used to draw and tie together two opposite edges, as of a shoe.
2. A delicate fabric made of yarn or thread in an open weblike pattern. Also called lacework.
3. Gold or silver braid ornamenting an officer's uniform.
v. laced, lac·ing, lac·es
1. To thread a cord through the eyelets or around the hooks of.
a. To draw together and tie the laces of.
b. To restrain or constrict by tightening laces, especially of a corset.
3. To pull or pass through; intertwine: lace garlands through a trellis.
4. To trim or decorate with or as if with lace.
a. To add a touch of flavor to: "today's chefs love to lace their goods with lively, pronounced flavors" (David Rosengarten).
b. To add a substance, especially an intoxicant or narcotic, to: laced the eggnog with rum and brandy.
c. To add or intersperse with something in order to produce a certain effect: "Quacks now lace their pitch with scientific terms that may sound authentic to the uninformed" (Jane E. Brody).
6. To streak with color.
7. To give a beating to; thrash: laced his opponent in the second round.
To be fastened or tied with laces or a lace.
lace into Informal
To attack; assail: laced into me for arriving so late.
[Middle English, from Old French las, noose, string, from Vulgar Latin *laceum, from Latin laqueus, noose; probably akin to lacere, to entice, ensnare.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.