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

  • n. A fine twilled fabric of silk and worsted or cotton, often dyed black and used for mourning clothes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fabric made from silk, wool or cotton dyed black

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A twilled fabric for dresses, of which the warp is silk, and the weft worsted. Black bombazine has been much used for mourning garments.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Raw cotton.
  • n. Originally, a stuff woven of silk and wool, made in England as early as the reign of Elizabeth; afterward, a stuff made of silk alone, but apparently always of one color, and inexpensive.
  • n. In modern usage, a stuff of which the warp is silk and the weft worsted. An imitation of it is made of cotton and worsted.
  • n. Also spelled bombazeen, bombasin.

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

  • n. a twilled fabric used for dresses; the warp is silk and the weft is worsted


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

French bombasin, from Medieval Latin bambacīnum, cotton fabric, from bombax, bombac-, cotton, from Latin bombȳx, silk, silkworm, from Greek bombūx, silkworm.


  • Still, she had no idea what supersensuous material she could reasonably have demanded of her heroine (unless it were the mythic "bombazine" that Ernest used to talk about, in his ignorant efforts to describe female apparel), or what transcendental form of cape would have satisfied her imagination.

    The Daughters of Danaus

  • When Miss Amelia pronounced "bombazine" to Laddie our side cried, "Careful, Laddie, careful! you're out of your element!"

    Laddie: A True Blue Story

  • The entire furniture-covering is made, we are privately informed, of "bombazine," and the explosion may be expected to be terrific.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, April 15, 1893

  • Women in ‘full’ or ‘deep’ mourning wore dresses of black bombazine and mourning bonnets with long, thick, black crepe veils.

    The Truth About Grief

  • I pat whatever part of her I can feel beneath the heavy folds of crepe and bombazine.

    Excerpt: Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold

  • It was high-necked, long-sleeved black bombazine, probably laid aside when a recent widow had put off her mourning, and was loose where it should have been tight and tight where it should have been loose.


  • I will refrain from mothballing my bombazine away in the trunk just yet because there will be renewed interest in all things Gissing for sure and we can all say, yes we've always liked him, did you know he lived at 24 Prospect Park, Exeter, Devon?

    Did you know George Gissing lived at...

  • I had found nothing to dislike about George Gissing first time round, New Grub Street about five years ago, and was suddenly moved to pick up The Nether World when I found myself stuck in the nineteenth century of late, waddling round in my bombazine gown.

    Did you know George Gissing lived at...

  • Each character, however minor, is introduced by means of a minute description of the fabric they're wearing: Cora's ballgown is made of a silk "specially woven in Lyons"; the Duke's housekeeper moves "in a rustle of bombazine"; and Cora's father, Winthrop Rutherford II, sports a brocade waistcoat and a natty pair of satin breeches.

    My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin

  • Waddling around in my bombazine gown I felt in need of a good snowstorm, preferably descending on an un-nineteenth century Christmas Eve, bit of intrigue, some small town America and a page turner.

    44 entries from December 2007


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  • 'And then Mrs. Fitz~Adam reappeared in Cranford, "As bold as a lion", Miss Pole said, a well~to~do widow, dressed in rustling black silk so soon after her husbands death that poor Miss Jenkins was justified in the remark she made, that "bombazine would have shown a deeper sense of her loss".'

    ~from Cranford, by Mrs. Gaskell, 1892

    I feel oddly compelled to address a select and unfavorable few as Bombazines now... . .

    October 24, 2008

  • Highly flammable fabric, if I recall correctly. A lightweight, sometimes sheer fabric that was used to make women's shirtwaists around the turn of the 20th century. They were modern garments, with a tailored fit like men's shirts, but for women to wear in the workplace. They featured a gauzy fabric (like bombazine) for a feminine silhouette.

    Cool word!

    October 13, 2007

  • And you, my bombazine doll, the bullets may singe your skin and the mortars may fall.

    June 26, 2007