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rib·bon (rĭbən)
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n.
1. A narrow strip or band of fabric, especially a fine fabric such as satin or velvet, finished at the edges and used for trimming, tying, or finishing.
2.
a. Something, such as a tape measure, that resembles a ribbon.
b. A long thin strip: a ribbon of sand along the shore.
3. ribbons Tattered or ragged strips: a dress torn to ribbons.
4. An inked strip of cloth used for making an impression, as in a typewriter.
5.
a. A band of colored cloth signifying membership in an order or the award of a prize.
b. A strip of colored cloth worn on the left breast of a uniform to indicate the award of a medal or decoration.
6. ribbons Informal Reins for driving horses.
tr.v. rib·boned, rib·bon·ing, rib·bons
1. To decorate or tie with ribbons.
2. To tear into ribbons or shreds.

[Middle English ribban, riban, from Old French ruban, probably of Germanic origin; see bhendh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

ribbon·y adj.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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