Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A soft, velvety cord of silk or worsted, used in embroidery and for fringes and other ornamental parts of women's dresses, etc.
  • noun A name for Dasya elegans, one of the red marine algæ), order Florideæ. See Dasya.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[French chenille, caterpillar, chenille, from Latin canīcula, diminutive of canis, dog; see kwon- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French

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

  • 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

  • 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?

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

    What Gets Your Smallies Going?

Comments

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  • "little dog" or dog fabric???

    June 22, 2007

  • 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

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

    February 3, 2008

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

    September 24, 2010