An aglet (or aiglet) is a small metal (or nowadays plastic) sheath typically used on each end of a shoelace, cord, or drawstring. An aglet keeps the fibers of the lace or cord from unraveling; its firmness and narrow profile make it easier to hold and easier to feed through the eyelets, lugs, or other lacing guides.
The word aglet (or aiglet) comes from Old French aguillette (or aiguillette), which is the diminutive of aguille (or aiguille), meaning needle.This in turn comes from acus, Latin for needle. An aglet is like a small needle at the end of a cord. There is a subtle distinction between aglets, which are generally functional, and aiguillettes, which are generally decorative. The latter usually appear at the end of decorative cords, such as bolo ties, and the identically named "aiguillettes" of military dress uniforms.
In the Middle Ages many were highly ornamental and made of precious metals, such as silver. Before buttons were in fashion, they were used on the ends of ribbons to fasten clothing together.