wreath / rē[unvoicedth]/ • n. (pl. wreaths / rē[voicedth]z; rē[unvoicedth]s/ ) an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring and used for decoration or for laying on a grave. ∎ a carved representation of such a wreath. ∎ a similar ring made of or resembling soft, twisted material: a gold wreath. ∎ a curl or ring of smoke or cloud: wreaths of mist swirled up into the cold air.
A. twisted band or coil OE.; bank or drift of snow XVIII;
B. chaplet or garland of flowers, leaves, etc. XVI. OE. wriða, f. reduced var. of the base of WRITHE.
So wreathe twist, coil. XVI. perh. back-formation f. wreathen (XIV) arranged in coils or curves, ME. wrēthen, OE. wriðen, pp. of wrīðan WRITHE.