1. A granary; a barn.
2. (Science: machinery) a machine for turning, that is, for shaping articles of wood, metal, or other material, by causing them to revolve while acted upon by a cutting tool. turning here is in the sense of cutting while turning. Turn 6 and turning 4, in this dict.
3. The movable swing frame of a loom, carrying the reed for separating the warp threads and beating up the weft; called also lay and batten. Blanchard lathe, a lathe for turning irregular forms after a given pattern, as lasts, gunstocks, and the like. Drill lathe, or speed lathe, a small lathe which, from its high speed, is adapted for drilling; a hand lathe. Engine lathe, a turning lathe in which the cutting tool has an automatic feed; used chiefly for turning and boring metals, cutting screws, etc. Foot lathe, a lathe which is driven by a treadle worked by the foot. Geometric lathe. See Geometric hand lathe, a lathe operated by hand; a power turning lathe without an automatic feed for the tool. Slide lathe, an engine lathe. Throw lathe, a small lathe worked by one hand, while the cutting tool is held in the other.
Origin: oe. Lathe a granary; akin to g. Lade a chest, Icel. Hlatha a storehouse, barn; but cf. Also Icel. Loth a smith's lathe. Senses 2 and 3 are perh. Of the same origin as lathe a granary, the original meaning being, a frame to hold something. If 3c0 so, the word is from an older form of E. Lade to load. See Lade to load.