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

  • noun Fabric or material formed by weaving, knitting, pressing, or felting natural or synthetic fibers.
  • noun A piece of fabric or material used for a specific purpose, as a tablecloth.
  • noun Canvas.
  • noun A sail.
  • noun The characteristic attire of a profession, especially that of the clergy.
  • noun The clergy.
  • idiom (in cloth) With a clothbound binding; as a clothbound book.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make into cloth.
  • noun Nautical, a breadth of canvas; one of the breadths of canvas in a square or fore-and-aft sail: a general term in relation to the sails of a ship.
  • noun Pl. cloths (klôŦhz), in a particular sense clothes (see clothes).
  • noun A fabric or texture of wool or hair, or of cotton, flax, hemp, or other vegetable filaments, formed by weaving or intertexture of threads, and used for garments or other covering, and for various other purposes; specifically, in the trade, a fabric of wool, in contradistinction to one made of other material.
  • noun A piece of cloth used for a particular purpose, generally as a covering, or as the canvas for a painting: as, a table-cloth; an altar-cloth; to spread the cloth (that is, the table-cloth).
  • noun Dress; raiment; clothing; clothes. See clothes.
  • noun The customary garb of a trade or profession; a livery; specifically, the professional dress of a clergyman.
  • noun Hence The clerical office or profession; with the definite article (the cloth), the clergy collectively; clergymen as a class.
  • noun Texture; quality.
  • Made or consisting of cloth, specifically of woolen cloth: as, a cloth coat or cap; cloth coverings.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A fabric made of fibrous material (or sometimes of wire, as in wire cloth); commonly, a woven fabric of cotton, woolen, or linen, adapted to be made into garments; specifically, woolen fabrics, as distinguished from all others.
  • noun The dress; raiment. [Obs.] See Clothes.
  • noun The distinctive dress of any profession, especially of the clergy; hence, the clerical profession.
  • noun See under Body.
  • noun a fabric woven wholly or partially of threads of gold.
  • noun the measure of length and surface by which cloth is measured and sold. For this object the standard yard is usually divided into quarters and nails.
  • noun a coarse kind of paper used in pressing and finishing woolen cloth.
  • noun one who shears cloth and frees it from superfluous nap.

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

  • noun uncountable A woven fabric such as used in dressing, decorating, cleaning or other practical use.
  • noun A piece of cloth used for a particular purpose.
  • noun A form of attire that represents a particular profession.
  • noun Priesthood, clergy.

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

  • noun artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers


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

[Middle English, from Old English clāth.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English cloth, clath, from Old English clāþ ("cloth, clothes, covering, sail"), from Proto-Germanic *klaiþan (“garment”), from Proto-Indo-European *gleit- (“to cling to, cleave, stick”). Cognate with Scots clath ("cloth"), North Frisian klaid ("dress, garment"), West Frisian kleed ("cloth, article of clothing"), Dutch kleed ("robe, dress"), Low German kleed ("dress, garment"), German Kleid ("dress, garment"), Danish klæde ("cloth, dress"), Swedish kläde ("cloth"), Icelandic klæði ("cloth, dressing"), Old English clīþan ("to adhere, stick"). Compare Albanian ngjit ("to stick, attach, glue").


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  • "We had no garments in our land,

    But what were spun by th' Goodwife's hand:

    No Drap-De Berry, cloaths of seal;

    No stuffs ingrain'd in cocheneel;

    No Plush, no Tissue, Cramosie;

    No China, Turky, Taffety;

    No proud Pyropus, Paragon,

    Or Chackarally, there was none;

    No Figurata or Water-chamblet;

    No Bishop-satine or Silk-chamblet;

    No cloth of gold; or bever hats

    We car'd no more for, than the cats:

    No windy flowrish'd flying feathers;

    No sweet permusted shambo leathers;

    No hilt or crampet richly hatched:

    A lance, a sword in hand we snatched.

    Lines from "a poem which contains a considerable portion of satire, and seems to have been written towards the middle of the seventeenth century." --Cited in Dr. Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary and Supplement, 1841.

    May 16, 2011