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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
French pleat
▪ Her collar and pleats were pressed, and there was a perfect white ribbon in her hair.
▪ How do I pack my pleats?
▪ It's easy - don't fold it across the pleats.
▪ Opera diva Jessye Norman swears by his comfortable and sophisticated signature pleats.
▪ Problems occur particularly when the fabric is printed off grain and the pleats follow a horizontal design on the fabric.
▪ She smoothed down the pleats of the skirt and strapped the watch on her arm.
▪ So this was what the eve-ning was about, our hidden pockets, the ragged seams and pleats of our history.
▪ You will need a pleat and space at each end of the heading for balance.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Pleat \Pleat\ (pl[=e]t), n. & v. t. See Plait.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1560s, used as the verb version of plait (n.) and probably representing an alternative pronunciation. Related: Pleated; pleating.


"a fold," 1580s, variant of plait (n.). With a gap in the printed record 17c.-18c., but probably it was in continuous oral use.


n. 1 (context sewing English) A fold in the fabric of a garment, usually a skirt, as a part of the design of the garment, with the purpose of adding controlled fullness and freedom of movement, or taking up excess fabric. There are many types of pleats, differing in their construction and appearance. 2 (context botany English) A fold in an organ, usually a longitudinal fold in a long leaf such as that of palmetto, lending it stiffness. 3 A plait. vb. (context transitive English) To form one or more pleat#Noun in a piece of fabric or a garment.

  1. n. any of various types of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and then pressing or stitching into shape [syn: plait]

  2. v. pleat or gather into a ruffle; "ruffle the curtain fabric" [syn: ruffle]

  3. fold into pleats, "Pleat the cloth" [syn: plicate]


A pleat (older plait) is a type of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and securing it in place. It is commonly used in clothing and upholstery to gather a wide piece of fabric to a narrower circumference.

Pleats are categorized as pressed, that is, ironed or otherwise heat-set into a sharp crease, or unpressed, falling in soft rounded folds.

Pleats sewn into place are called tucks.

Pleat (knitting)

In knitting, pleats can be made in several ways.

Mock pleats can be made by alternating stitches that tend to recede (such as purl or slip wyif), stitches that lie flat (such as seed or plissé) and stitches that tend to advance (such as knit and slip wyib) along the backward fold, the flat face and the forward fold, respectively.

By contrast, true pleats can be made by folding the knitted fabric over and knitting the matching stitches together pairwise. Any style of pleat can be made in this way, e.g., knife pleats or box pleats.

Usage examples of "pleat".

Her mother made all her own clothes and taught Rita to do the same, starting her on potholders and dirndl skirts, working her way up to blouses with buttonholes, pants with pleats and pockets.

On her white shirtwaist was a pleated jabot of cheap lace, caught with a large novelty pin of imitation coral.

Her ovipositor had already tucked itself away and the pleated skin of her abdomen was coming back into place.

The first row would be placed near the outside edge of the buckram and each pleat sewed as it is laid.

Laying a bundle of programs upon the dressing table, the usherette made a quick probe of the pleated dress.

They buttoned on pleated shirts, experimented with bow ties, and thought about when they were a boy and a young father and Randy had put shaving cream on his face and shaved with a bladeless razor, while his dad stood beside him and shaved with a real one.

She was wearing a plain little frock of black marocain with a little soft pleated white collar.

The overgown, of a sober wine-black satin that fell in heavy pleats straight from the shoulders, flared slightly over the skirt, opening a few centimeters at the hem to reveal flashes of the brighter brocade beneath.

Lisel sat on the edge of the canopied bed, pleating and repleating the folds of the scarlet cloak between her fingers.

He was dressed in a high white collar, white bow tie, knife pleats down his chest, a black coat, stephanotis at the black satin buttonhole.

He smiled too, and fought a ridiculous and unclerical impulse to put a finger very lightly on one of those tiny coils of hair at the nape of her neck which had sprung from her severely rolled French pleat.

Mariah says nothing, just pleats and unpleats the fabric of her skirt.

The tranjit would not look at her, only at the coarse white cloth she was pleating and unpleating over her knees.

The upper doors of the breakfront were lined, where one would expect glass, with a pleated yellowed fabric.

History was suddenly pleated, the years juxtaposed, and the laughter was that of childhood again.