AskDefine | Define doily

Dictionary Definition

doily n : a small round piece of linen place under a dish or bowl [syn: doyley, doyly]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


From Doiley, the name of a 17th-century London draper.


  1. A small ornamental piece of lace or linen or paper used to protect a surface from scratches by hard objects such as vases or bowls; or to decorate a plate of food.

Extensive Definition

A doily (or doilie) is a small ornamental mat usually made of cotton or linen placed underneath a dish or bowl. Openwork allows the table surface to show through. In addition to their decorative function, doilies have the utilitarian role of protecting fine-wood furniture from the scratches caused by crockery.
In more recent times, paper doilies have become common, and are often used to decorate a plate of food, underlying the food for ornamentation.
Originally the name of a fabric, from Doiley, a 17th century London draper.
Doilies are also used as head coverings in zealous Baptist churches.

See also

doily in German: Deckchen
doily in French: Napperon
doily in Italian: Centrino (merletto)
doily in Dutch: Doily
doily in Polish: Serweta
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