Definitions

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

  • n. A sack for wool.
  • n. The official seat of the Lord Chancellor in the House of Lords.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A wool bale or cushion, the traditional seat of the Lord Speaker in the British House of Lords.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sack or bag of wool; specifically, the seat of the lord chancellor of England in the House of Lords, being a large, square sack of wool resembling a divan in form.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sack or bag of wool.
  • n. A cushion stuffed with wool, especially that on which the lord chancellor sits in the House of Lords. It is a large square bag of wool, without back or arms, covered with cloth.

Etymologies

wool +‎ sack (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We seated Ellesmere on one that we called the woolsack, but which he said he felt himself unworthy to occupy in the presence of King Log, pointing to mine.

    Friends in Council — First Series

  • But when he shook hands with Lady Hayman, the Lords Speaker who was sitting on the woolsack, a cheer went up around the chamber and at last Prescott smiled.

    Politics live blog – Thursday 8 July 2010

  • Then he headed for the Lord Speaker, Lady Hayman, sitting on the woolsack, and bopped her with a straight left.

    The peerless John Prescott takes his place in House Of Lords

  • Lord Chancellor, and sat on the woolsack, whence he took his title; his grandfather dealt in coal-sacks, and not in woolsacks, — small coal-sacks, dribbling out little supplies of black diamonds to the poor.

    The Fitz-Boodle Papers

  • Perhaps Mr. Warrington might have risen to a peerage and the woolsack, had he studied very long and assiduously, — had he been a dexterous courtier, and a favourite of attorneys: had he been other than he was, in a word.

    The Virginians

  • He was now again Attorney – General, much to his disgust, as Mr Gresham had at the last moment found it wise to restore Lord Weazeling to the woolsack; and to his hands was to be entrusted the prosecution of Mr Browborough.

    Phineas Redux

  • Could the Chancellor look dignified on the woolsack, if he had had an accident with his wig, or allowed his robes to be torn or soiled?

    Castle Richmond

  • But his lordship, and his wig, and his woolsack, are tinsel in comparison with the real power possessed by the editor of a leading newspaper.

    He Knew He Was Right

  • Such a mind has Mr Eugene Wrayburn, whom Twemlow finds contemplating Tippins with the moodiest of visages, while that playful creature rallies him on being so long overdue at the woolsack.

    Our Mutual Friend

  • By commission of March 9, 1713, he occupied the woolsack during the illness of the Lord Keeper,

    The Journal to Stella

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