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

  • n. Any of a breed of sheep, originally from Spain, having long fine wool.
  • n. The wool of this sheep.
  • n. A soft lightweight fabric made originally of merino wool but now of any fine wool.
  • n. A fine wool and cotton yarn used especially for knitting underwear and hosiery.
  • n. A knitted fabric made from this yarn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A breed of Spanish sheep that has long, fine hair
  • n. The wool of this sheep
  • n. The fabric made from this wool (or from any similar yarn)
  • n. A yarn made from a combination of wool and cotton in imitation of this wool

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a variety of sheep with very fine wool, originally bred in Spain.
  • adj. Made of the wool of the merino sheep.
  • n. A breed of sheep originally from Spain, noted for the fineness of its wool.
  • n. A fine fabric of merino wool.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Noting a variety of sheep from Spain, or their wool. See below.
  • Made of the wool of the merino sheep: as, merino stockings or underclothing.
  • n. A merino sheep.
  • n. A thin woolen cloth, twilled on both sides and used especially for women's dresses, now to some extent superseded by cashmere.
  • n. A variety of tricot or knitted material for undergarments.

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

  • n. white sheep originating in Spain and producing a heavy fleece of exceptional quality


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

Spanish, perhaps from Berber Benī Merīn, name of the tribe that developed the breed, or from Spanish merino, local magistrate (from Latin māiōrīnus, larger, from māior; see major).



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  • The best damned wool in the world. Made in Australia.

    October 6, 2007

  • This word always calls to mind a quote from one of my favorite pieces by John Muir:

    "Give to Nature every cultured apple--codling, pippin, russet--and every sheep so laboriously compounded--muffled Southdowns, hairy Cotswolds, wrinkled Merinos--and she would throw the one to her caterpillars, the other to her wolves."

    April 16, 2007