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

  • n. A heavy, coarse cotton fabric, used for grain sacks, upholstery, and draperies.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plain, coarse textile fabric made from flax, tow or jute yarns.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of coarse linen, originally made in Osnaburg, Germany.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A coarse cloth made of flax and tow.


After Osnaburg (Osnabrück).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Named for the German city of Osnabrück (from which it may have been first imported into English-speaking countries). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • One of a variety of spellings. See notes on oznabrig.

    Edit: seems to be the most common spelling. Entry at OED states:
    n. As a mass noun: a kind of coarse linen (and later cotton) cloth originally made at Osnabrück, used esp. for making rough hard-wearing clothing, or for furnishings, sacks, tents, etc. As a count noun (usu. in pl., sometimes treated as sing.): a quantity of this; (also) an item or items made of such cloth, esp. (formerly) clothing given to servants or slaves.

    October 29, 2007