Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A soft tufted cord of silk, cotton, or worsted used in embroidery or for fringing.
  • n. Fabric made of this cord, commonly used for bedspreads or rugs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an extremely soft and bunchy fabric often used to make sweaters

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Tufted cord, of silk or worsted, for the trimming of ladies' dresses, for embroidery and fringes, and for the weft of Chenille rugs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A soft, velvety cord of silk or worsted, used in embroidery and for fringes and other ornamental parts of women's dresses, etc.
  • n. A name for Dasya elegans, one of the red marine algæ), order Florideæ. See Dasya.
  • n. A name given to the cotton leaf-worm or cotton caterpillar, the larva of Alabama argillacea, by Louisiana planters of French descent, and adopted by many others.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a heavy fabric woven with chenille cord; used in rugs and bedspreads
  • n. a soft tufted cord used in embroidery

Etymologies

French chenille, caterpillar, chenille, from Latin canīcula, diminutive of canis, dog; see kwon- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • On one side of the door, framed and glazed, was a large coat of arms of the Kittery family, worked in chenille and embroidery, – the labor of Miss Deborah's hands during the course of her early education.

    Oldtown Folks

  • This summer after getting reports of six deaths, the Blair company recalled chenille robes that it sold through its online and retail stores because they failed to meet federal flammability standards.

    Don we now our non-flammable apparel

  • If they weave cloth of it, that's called chenille too.

    Calde of the Long Sun

  • Tight weaves or knits and fabrics without a fuzzy or napped surface are less likely to ignite and burn rapidly than open knits or weaves, or fabrics with brushed or piled surfaces such as chenille ..

    Don we now our non-flammable apparel

  • The wicker is very delicately plaited, and is ornamented with a pattern in chenille which is very easy to work.

    Beeton's Book of Needlework

  • A kind of chenille robe made by Blair and sold through its catalog is being recalled after six deaths.

    Jezebel

  • I tie a skunk fly up with yellow chenille and it works very well.

    What Gets Your Smallies Going?

  • Enough to see her pound her fists into her pastel chenille spread, hard enough to raise dust.

    The Bird House

  • I am wrapped in a chenille throw curled up on my sofa, with a glass of Chardonnay and my leg tucked beneath me, reading—well, trying to read—Stealing Candy by Allison Hobbs about teen girls being forced into prostitution by a malicious pimp.

    Deep Throat Diva

  • Body material mostly likely would be chenille but some tie in a squirrel zonker or hackle.

    All About Jigs

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Comments

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  • Under the chenille bed spreads the farm girls feel great. -Websters Dictionary pg.14

    September 24, 2010

  • I love chenille bedspreads and they symbolize homey, country grandma style to me.

    February 3, 2008

  • Interesting etymology! I never realized this word had any relation to dogs. From dictionary.com:

    Origin: 1730–40; < F: velvety cord, lit., caterpillar < L canīcula, with etymological sense “little dog,�? though attested only in senses “shrewish woman, dogfish, Sirius�? (see canicular); for parallel use of “cat�? in same sense, see caterpillar

    June 22, 2007

  • "little dog" or dog fabric???

    June 22, 2007