Definitions

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

  • n. A twilled cloth of worsted or worsted and wool, often used for suits.
  • transitive v. To overcast (the raw edges of a fabric) to prevent unraveling.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a type of worsted cloth
  • n. A large wax candle used in some church ceremonies.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A woolen twilled stuff, much used as material for clothing for both sexes.
  • n. A large wax candle used in the ceremonies of various churches.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An obsolete variant of search.
  • n. A woolen cloth in use throughout the middle ages, apparently of coarser texture than say.
  • n. A kind of twilled fabric, woven originally of silk, but now commonly of worsted. It is remarkably strong and durable. Silk serges are used chiefly for tailors' lining.
  • n. See cerge.
  • n. An obsolete variant of searce.

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

  • n. a twilled woolen fabric

Etymologies

Middle English sarge, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *sārica, from Latin sērica (vestis), silken (clothing), feminine of sēricus, silken, from Greek sērikos, of the Seres, silken, from Sēres, a people of eastern Asia, perhaps China.
Back formation from serging, type of overcast stitch, from serge1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French serge, replacing an older borrowing from Middle French sarge < Old French < Vulgar Latin *sarica < Latin sērica. (Wiktionary)
French cierge. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In no way your argument 'troop serge' is working, is any good for that poor country.

    McCain releases debut general election ad

  • The swing-door creaked, and in the doorway appeared a rather short young Jew with a big beak-like nose, with a bald patch surrounded by rough red curly hair; he was dressed in a short and very shabby reefer jacket, with rounded lappets and short sleeves, and in short serge trousers, so that he looked skimpy and short-tailed like an unfledged bird.

    The Bishop and Other Stories

  • Just think, in 500 years' time it could be part of the global language, like the cloth originally known as serge de Nimes, which makes up over 90 percent of the world's jeans.

    Fancy that - a computer bag which keeps the machine powered up

  • My dress wuz a cream buntin ', lak what dey calls serge dese days.

    Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves Georgia Narratives, Part 4

  • Of course, considering the shortness of the time, it would be impossible: yet it seems odd, out of keeping, that she should still be wearing that soft blue serge, which is associated with so many happy hours.

    Molly Bawn

  • Then her beautiful locks are submitted to the tonsure; and to signify her deadness forever to the world, she is clothed in a dress of coarse grey cloth, called serge, in which she is to pass the miserable remnant of her days.

    Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal

  • There is alsoe a square Court with Penthouses round where the Malters are wth Mault and oat meal, but the serge is the Chief manufacture, There is a prodigious quantety of their serges they never bring into the market but are in hired roomes wch are noted for it, for it would be impossible to have it altogether.

    Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary

  • The pen had signed some important treaty, and the serge was a fragment of a flag that had been borne triumphant from a field where a nation's destinies had been sealed.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture

  • The women card, the children spin, the men weave; and each cottage is a little manufactory of drugget and serge, which is taken to market in spring, and sold in the low-country towns.

    The Huguenots in France

  • This is the "wet pressing" used by tailors, which is adapted to the requirements of materials used by them, such as serge, tweeds, etc.

    Textiles and Clothing

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