I have a question denoting the right word for a particular object. In German, we have mainly one word for all the objects denoted by "grid", "trellis", "grating", "mesh", and a few others. So, I find it hard to grasp the distinctions between all these words.

For a paper, I am confused as to which English word might be the proper one we should use to denote the object you can see in the enclosed image. We built it ourselves (if you are wondering, we use it for calibrating cameras).

Any insights will be highly appreciated.

Best regards, Gabriel

PS: if this is not the appropriate forum, I'd appreciate a pointer to the right one.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Hi Gabriel. Welcome to Language Learning Stack Exchange. This is a site where you can ask questions about methods and resources for learning or teaching languages, but questions about finding the right word for something are off topic here. For this reason, I will migrate your questions to English Language & Usage Stack Exchange.
    – Tsundoku
    Mar 24, 2021 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


Personally, I would call the object in the photograph a "lattice". Wiktionary gives a definition as: "A flat panel constructed with widely-spaced crossed thin strips of wood or other material, commonly used as a garden trellis.".

There is some overlap between the meanings of "grid", "trellis", "grating" and "mesh", but they are used to convey different concepts.

A "grid" describes the partitioning of space or objects into cells. Not sure if the object in the picture does that. A grid is also used to describe barriers made from parallel lines of metal to stop animals passing over. These are usually elongated and do not form square holes. They are more a type of grating.

A "trellis" is defined by its function as a support for plants to grow on. If you were to put your invention in a garden, it would make sense to call it a trellis.

A "grating" is a barrier which allows certain materials to pass through. There is an optical device called a grating. You may want to check if your device is analagous on a larger scale. Gratings seem to be dominant in one direction: main parallel lines with few if any perpendicular lines connecting them.

A "mesh" describes an interwoven configuration of material and is applicable to the object in the image, but "lattice" works better.

  • 1
    Excellent description. I'd add that all are similar in English in that they are usually square from overlapping parallel lines but that is not necessary. 2) 'grid' is more likely to be used metaphorically for any set of regular or not regular connections ('the electric power grid') 3) 'mesh' is usually a fine mesh or (more rarely coarse) which really means even with coarse, that you can only barely see the squares.
    – Mitch
    Mar 24, 2021 at 19:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.