Definition of lathe in English:


Pronunciation /lāT͟H/ /leɪð/

Translate lathe into Spanish


  • A machine for shaping wood, metal, or other material by means of a rotating drive which turns the piece being worked on against changeable cutting tools.

    ‘I take the bulk away with a wood lathe tool, take it down and smooth it out with clay tools, and buff it with a rubber pad.’
    • ‘High Schools of the day offered some pretty good metal working programs in classrooms outfitted with lathes, milling machines and shapers.’
    • ‘Visitors were also shown vases that were cast from the same material and turned on a wood lathe.’
    • ‘Veneer is made by placing a cut log on a giant lathe and then rotating it against a cutter.’
    • ‘A woodturner needs a lathe and some basic tools.’
    • ‘He built his own tools - lathes and presses - mixed his inks, shaped the spheres, and printed all of his own maps, probably relying on increasingly available atlases.’
    • ‘After leaving school at 14, he worked in an engineering workshop where he learnt to use a metal lathe and other equipment.’
    • ‘The lathe has a material feed mechanism and will turn out cases as long as it has rod to feed.’
    • ‘Industrial accidents, too, are common, especially to people using high-speed machinery such as grinders, drills, saws, lathes or milling machines without adequate eye protection.’
    • ‘Across the alley three men sat on the floor in an open room beside lathes and other machine shop equipment, each one busily manufacturing a gun.’
    • ‘In addition to the belt-driven machines, there is an electric lathe and an electric drill press.’
    • ‘Other aluminum bearing applications are in heavy tooling, such as boring mills, presses, lathes, milling machines, and grinding mills, and as hydraulic pump bushings.’
    • ‘For example, around 1750 Antoine Thiout introduced the innovation of equipping a lathe with a screw drive.’
    • ‘When Jonathan was 12, he started turning wood on a lathe.’
    • ‘Since he was interested in tools, we showed him a simple lathe (a tool he had wished he could use) in a glass case at the Science Museum in London.’
    • ‘In middle school, I also took wood shop and eventually became obsessed with the wood lathe.’
    • ‘He will turn wood on a lathe and tend the museum's medieval garden, which has plants for household, culinary and medicinal use.’
    • ‘He had a workshop with a lathe and other tools, where he used to go to commune in spirit with the horny handed sons of toil.’
    • ‘You notice the lathe and the other tools first, crafted down to each groove and handle.’
    • ‘His huge wind-measuring instrument with its giant dials had a room of its own and there was another for his tools and lathes.’

transitive verb

[with object]
  • Shape with a lathe.

    ‘I have lathed metal in a machine shop’
    • ‘The mandapa remained a square, though it was now distinguished by circular columns, the shafts of which had been lathed and thus acquired a number of parallel knife-edges.’
    • ‘The place wasn't wealthy: the plates were rough lathed wood, grease from meals soaked into it.’


Middle English probably from Old Danish lad ‘structure, frame’, perhaps from Old Norse hlath ‘pile, heap’, related to hlatha (see lade).