Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cover for a bed; a bedspread.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The topmost covering of a bed, often functioning as a blanket.
  • n. A coverlet.
  • n. A bedspread.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A coverlet for a bed, -- originally stitched or woven in squares or figures.
  • n. A duplicate part or copy of an indenture, deed, etc., corresponding with the original; -- now called counterpart.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bed-cover; a coverlet for a bed; a quilt; now, specifically, a coverlet woven of cotton with raised figures, also called Marseilles quilt.
  • n. One part of an indenture; a copy or counterpart of the original of an indenture.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. decorative cover for a bed

Etymologies

Alteration of obsolete counterpoint, from Middle English countrepoint, from Old French contrepointe, alteration of coultepointe, from Medieval Latin culcita pūncta, stitched quilt : Latin culcita, quilt, mattress; see quilt + Latin pūnctus, stitched, pricked; see point.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • A thin counterpane of blue check gave a rather pleasing finish.

    Prisons and Prisoners: Some Personal Experiences

  • September 24th, in the _Boston News Letter_, the word counterpane first appears.

    Customs and Fashions in Old New England

  • The heavy cotton impervious counterpane is bad, for the very reason that it keeps in the emanations from the sick person, while the blanket allows them to pass through.

    Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not

  • Therese found somewhere and used for a counterpane was a magnificent combination of white and crimson between the gleaming surfaces of dark wood; and the whole room had an air of splendour with marble consoles, gilt carvings, long mirrors and a sumptuous

    The Arrow of Gold

  • On the counterpane was a mess of blood, and the sheet had been torn.

    The Invisible Man

  • Then, in the manner described below, put on the bottom sheet, the top sheet, a blanket or comforter or other warm cover, and finally the bedspread also called a counterpane, quilt, or other day cover.

    HOME COMFORTS

  • On the counterpane was the box of papers she had removed from her home after Jamie's death, just before the police had raided her.

    Maura's Game

  • I have heerd my mother say when she heerd the Yankees were commin 'she had a brand new counterpane, my father owned a place before he married my mother, the counterpane was a woolen woven counterpane.

    Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves, North Carolina Narratives, Part 1

  • The inventories of household furniture belonging to Reginald de la Pole, after enumerating some bed-hangings of costly stuff, describe: "Item, a pane" (piece of cloth which we now call counterpane) "and head-shete for y'e cradell, of same sute, bothe furred with mynever," -- giving us a comfortable idea of the nursery establishment in the De la Pole family.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 107, September, 1866

  • After which Bet said, with a gay and satisfied air, 'Now that the counterpane is my own, I shall make a petticoat of it.'

    Life Of Johnson

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