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A Christmas wreath
The coat of arms of Lech Wałęsa, President of Poland from 1990 to 1995. A wreath, or torse, in argent (silver) and gules (red) lies between the top of the helmet and the eagle crest.


See writhe.



wreath ‎(plural wreaths)

  1. Something twisted, intertwined, or curled.
    a wreath of smoke;  a wreath of clouds
    • 1892, James Yoxall, chapter 5, in The Lonely Pyramid: A Tale of Adventures, being the Strange Experiences of Roy LeFevre in the Desert during the Year 1884, London; Glasgow; Edinburgh; Dublin: Blackie and Son, OCLC 192021084:
      The desert storm was riding in its strength; the travellers lay beneath the mastery of the fell simoom. Whirling wreaths and columns of burning wind, rushed around and over them.
  2. An ornamental circular band made, for example, of plaited flowers and leaves, and used as decoration; a garland or chaplet, especially one given to a victor.
    • 1913, Joseph Crosby Lincoln, chapter 12, in Mr. Pratt's Patients, New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt, OCLC 2412914:
      So, after a spell, he decided to make the best of it and shoved us into the front parlor. 'Twas a dismal sort of place, with hair wreaths, and wax fruit, and tin lambrekins, and land knows what all.
  3. (heraldry) An appendage to the shield, placed above it, and supporting the crest; an orle, a torse. It generally represents a twist of two cords of silk, one tinctured like the principal metal, the other like the principal color in the coat of arms.




wreath ‎(third-person singular simple present wreaths, present participle wreathing, simple past and past participle wreathed)

  1. To place an entwined circle of flowers upon or around something.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To wrap around something in a circle.
    At the funeral, a circle of comrades wreathed the grave of the honored deceased.
    • Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
      I unsealed the vial mystical,
      I outpoured the liquid thing,
      And while the smoke came wreathing out,
      I stood unshuddering.


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.


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