• The lower portion of an interior wall whose surface differs from that of the upper wall.

Real Estate

  • noun a lining for the walls of a room, especially one made of wood panelling.
  • noun the lower part of the wall of a room, especially when it is panelled in wood or finished differently from the upper part
  • noun a fine grade of oak used as wall panelling
  • verb to cover a wall with wood panelling

Origin & History of “wainscot”

Wainscot was borrowed from middle Low German wagenschot. It is not altogether clear what the origins of this were, but the generally accepted theory is that it is a compound of wagen ‘waggon’ and schot ‘planks, boards’, and that it therefore originally meant ‘planks used for making waggons’. To begin with it was applied in English to ‘high-grade oak imported from Russia, Germany, and Holland’. such wood was used mainly for panelling rooms, and by the 16th century wainscot had come to signify ‘wood panelling’.