A doily is a decorative piece of cloth or paper that's used on a fancy table, often under a bowl. If your mom's birthday breakfast spread doesn't look festive enough, you can dress it up with some doilies.
Some doilies are made of lace, while paper doilies are patterned and cut to resemble lace. You might see a doily underneath a cake, or separating a cup of fruit from the saucer beneath it. The word doily comes from Doiley, the last name of a well-known London dry goods dealer in the 17th century. Originally, the word was an adjective describing suits or fabric, and later, from doily-napkin came the doily we know today.