Definition of wainscot in English:



  • 1in singular An area of wooden panelling on the lower part of the walls of a room.

    • ‘A pine staircase leads up to the bedrooms, the largest of which has a red deal floor as well as a timber wainscot.’
    • ‘The floor was laid in blue slate, the walls done in oak wainscot beneath swirled plaster painted a desert sand color.’
    • ‘Old fir flooring, recovered from a demolished building, finds new life as wainscot in the Ecotrust Building, Portland, Oregon.’
    • ‘Using historic photographs and sampling of paint layers, TLCD restored or reconstructed the original finishes, colors, and wainscot.’
    • ‘The dry rot has now entered the wainscot surrounding the lower part of the ground floor walls.’
    1. 1.1British historical mass noun Imported oak of fine quality, used mainly to make panelling.
  • 2A drab yellowish to brown-coloured European moth.

    Mythimna and other genera, family Noctuidae: several species

    ‘There are several Wainscot moths which can be quite tricky to identify in isolation.’
    ‘Several rare or scarce species have been identified, one of which, the Brown-veined Wainscot was a new species for the county.’

verbwainscots, wainscoting, wainscoted, wainscotting, wainscotted

[with object]
  • Line (a room or wall) with wooden panelling.

    ‘the interior was to be wainscotted to a height of 4 feet’
    as adjective wainscotted ‘round the wainscotted walls ran narrow benches’
    • ‘Italian marble wainscoted the walls to a height of five feet.’
    • ‘Add elegant age to modern bathrooms by wainscoting the lower third of the wall areas in tongue-and-groove timber slats or boards.’
    • ‘His ‘untimely death’ occurred while he was away from his wainscoted offices on a periodic visit to a resort near the Matterhorn.’
    • ‘She eyed at the grandfather clock, which would have been a wonderful corner piece had it been in a wainscoted library, but was grossly out of place in a bare living room decorated by light wood accents.’
    • ‘For example, the broad wainscoted side hall terminates in a staircase that rises to a landing and then turns ninety degrees in a manner similar to that at Mulberry Hill.’


Middle English from Middle Low German wagenschot, apparently from wagen ‘wagon’ + schot, probably meaning ‘partition’. wainscot (sense 2 of the noun) dates from the early 19th century.



/ˈweɪnskət/ /ˈweɪnskɒt/