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Braid vs. Plait: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 29, 2023
Braid and plait both refer to the style of weaving hair or material in interlaced patterns; "braid" is more common in American English, while "plait" is often used in British English.
Braid vs. Plait

Key Differences

Both braid and plait describe the process of intertwining strands, typically of hair, into a complex pattern. While "braid" is predominantly used in American English, "plait" finds its usage mainly in British English, reflecting a geographical variation in terminology.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
The term "braid" has Germanic roots, associated with the concept of interweaving or twining. "Plait," on the other hand, originates from the Old French word "pleit," meaning a fold. Despite these different origins, they converge in their modern usage to describe similar styles of hair weaving.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
"Braid" often carries a broad meaning, including types of braiding in crafts and textiles. "Plait" is more specifically tied to the style of hair weaving. In certain cultures, the choice of word might also hint at traditional practices or specific hairstyles.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
In literature and everyday conversation, "braid" may be chosen for its concise, one-syllable punch, fitting easily into various contexts. "Plait," with its slightly more elaborate two-syllable structure, might be used for a more formal or descriptive tone.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023
In some contexts, "braid" might be perceived as a more modern or fashionable term, while "plait" can have a more classic or traditional connotation. However, in practical use, both words are often used interchangeably without much distinction in meaning.
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Dec 29, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Regional Usage

Predominantly American English
Commonly used in British English
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Origin

Germanic roots
Derived from Old French "pleit"
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Dec 29, 2023

Application

Used broadly in hair and crafts
Often specific to hair weaving
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Dec 29, 2023

Syllables

One syllable
Two syllables
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Dec 29, 2023

Connotation

Modern, fashionable
Traditional, classic
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Braid and Plait Definitions

Braid

A hairstyle created by interlacing strands of hair.
For the wedding, she chose an elegant braid.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Plait

A hairstyle made by interlacing strands of hair.
Her long hair was styled into a neat plait.
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Dec 29, 2023

Braid

To interweave three or more strands, strips, or lengths of in a diagonally overlapping pattern
Braided the rags into a strong rope.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

A method of braiding for decorative purposes.
She learned to plait ribbons into intricate patterns.
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Dec 29, 2023

Braid

To create (something) by such interweaving
Braid a rug.
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Plait

A design resembling interwoven strands in fabric.
The tablecloth featured a plaited border.
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Dec 29, 2023

Braid

To style (the hair) by such interweaving.
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Oct 19, 2023

Plait

Twining materials together in a braid-like fashion.
He used vines to plait a natural fence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Braid

To mingle (discrete elements, for example) as if by such interweaving
Braided the ideas into a complex thesis.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

A traditional style of hair braiding.
Plaits are often seen in historical portraits.
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Dec 29, 2023

Braid

To decorate or edge (something) with a trim of interwoven strands
Finished the jacket by braiding the collar and cuffs.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

A braid, especially of hair.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

To fasten or decorate (hair) with a band or ribbon.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

A pleat.
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Oct 19, 2023

Braid

To flow, twist, or wind as if interwoven
A stream braiding through the woods.
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Oct 19, 2023

Plait

To braid.
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Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A braided segment or length, as of hair, fabric, or fiber.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

To pleat.
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Oct 19, 2023

Braid

Ornamental cord or ribbon, used especially for decorating or edging fabrics.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

To make by braiding.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A ribbon or band used to fasten the hair.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

A flat fold; a doubling, as of cloth; a pleat.
A box plait
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

To make a sudden movement with, to jerk.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

A braid, as of hair or straw; a plat.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

To start into motion.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

(transitive) To fold; to double in narrow folds; to pleat
To plait a ruffle
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

(transitive) To weave together, intertwine (strands of fibers, ribbons, etc.); to arrange (hair) in braids.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

(transitive) To interweave the strands or locks of; to braid
To plait hair
Plaiting rope
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

To mix, or make uniformly soft, by beating, rubbing, or straining, as in preparing food.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

A flat fold; a doubling, as of cloth; a pleat; as, a box plait.
The plaits and foldings of the drapery.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

(obsolete) To reproach; to upbraid.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

A braid, as of hair or straw; a plat.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

(obsolete) A sudden movement; a jerk, a wrench.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

To fold; to double in narrow folds; to pleat; as, to plait a ruffle.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A weave of three or more strands of fibers, ribbons, cords or hair often for decoration.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

To interweave the strands or locks of; to braid; to plat; as, to plait hair; to plait rope.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A stranded wire composed of a number of smaller wires twisted together
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

A hairdo formed by braiding or twisting the hair
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A tubular sheath made of braided strands of metal placed around a central cable for shielding against electromagnetic interference.
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Oct 19, 2023

Plait

Any of various types of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and then pressing or stitching into shape
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

(obsolete) A caprice or outburst of passion or anger.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

Make by braiding or interlacing;
Lace a tablecloth
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

To weave, interlace, or entwine together, as three or more strands or threads; to form into a braid; to plait.
Braid your locks with rosy twine.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Plait

Weave into plaits;
Plait hair
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

To mingle, or to bring to a uniformly soft consistence, by beating, rubbing, or straining, as in some culinary operations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

To reproach. [Obs.] See Upbraid.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

To start; to awake.
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Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A plait, band, or narrow fabric formed by intertwining or weaving together different strands.
A braid of hair composed of two different colors twined together.
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Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A narrow fabric, as of wool, silk, or linen, used for binding, trimming, or ornamenting dresses, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A quick motion; a start.
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Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A fancy; freak; caprice.
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Oct 19, 2023

Braid

Deceitful.
Since Frenchmen are so braid,Marry that will, I live and die a maid.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A hairdo formed by braiding or twisting the hair
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

Trimming used to decorate clothes or curtains
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

Make by braiding or interlacing;
Lace a tablecloth
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

Decorate with braids or ribbons;
Braid a collar
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

Form or weave into a braid or braids;
Braid hair
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Braid

A pattern formed by intertwining three or more strands.
She wore her hair in a simple braid.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Braid

A narrow, woven band used for trimming.
The uniform had a gold braid on the sleeves.
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Dec 29, 2023

Braid

A method of weaving materials into a pliable cord.
He created a braid out of leather strips.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Braid

A textile pattern resembling interlaced strands.
The pillow had a decorative braid pattern.
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Dec 29, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Which is more common in the US, braid or plait?

"Braid" is more common in the US.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Is "plait" only for hair?

Primarily, but it can also refer to similar weaving techniques in other contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Are braid and plait the same?

Yes, they refer to the same weaving technique but are used differently in American and British English.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can men have plaits?

Yes, plaits are not gender-specific.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Are braids fashionable?

Yes, braids are often considered fashionable and trendy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can "braid" be used for materials other than hair?

Yes, "braid" is often used for materials in crafts and textiles.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Do plaits have a cultural significance?

Yes, in some cultures, plaits carry traditional or cultural significance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Are there different types of braids?

Yes, there are various styles like French braids, Dutch braids, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can "plait" be a verb?

Yes, it can be used as a verb meaning to weave or braid.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Do braid and plait have different origins?

Yes, "braid" has Germanic roots, while "plait" comes from Old French.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Is "braid" a common term in fashion?

Yes, it's widely used in fashion and hairstyling.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can "braid" refer to a hairstyle?

Absolutely, it's a common term for a woven hair style.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Is it easier to say "braid" or "plait"?

"Braid" is shorter and often considered easier to say.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Are plaits suitable for formal occasions?

Yes, plaits can be styled elegantly for formal events.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Is "plait" considered old-fashioned?

Sometimes, depending on the cultural and linguistic context.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Do braids require long hair?

Typically, but there are styles suitable for shorter hair.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can plaits be decorative in crafts?

Yes, they can be used decoratively in various crafts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Are plaits easy to maintain?

They can be, depending on the style and hair type.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Is "braid" used in British English?

Yes, though less frequently than "plait".
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

Can "braid" also be a noun?

Yes, it can be a noun referring to the woven product.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 29, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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