from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adv. In wool; with woollen clothing next to the skin.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adv. In wool; with woolen raiment next the skin.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- With wool as clothing, especially next the skin: apparently always with the idea of doing penance by wearing an irritating and uncomfortable garment.
What mulct, what penance soever is enjoined, they dare not but do it, tumble with St. Francis in the mire amongst hogs, if they be appointed, go woolward, whip themselves, build hospitals, abbeys,
Because poor people fare coarsely, work hard, go woolward and bare.
Woollard may be the Anglo-Saxon personal name Wulfweard, but is more probably from woolward, i.e. without linen, a costume assumed as a sign of penitence
The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I go woolward for penance.