Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • With wool as clothing, especially next the skin: apparently always with the idea of doing penance by wearing an irritating and uncomfortable garment.

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

  • adverb obsolete In wool; with woolen raiment next the skin.

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

  • adverb obsolete In wool; with woollen clothing next to the skin.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

wool +‎ -ward

Examples

  • 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,

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Because poor people fare coarsely, work hard, go woolward and bare.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I go woolward for penance.

    Love’s Labour ’s Lost

  • 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 Romance of Names

  • The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I go woolward for penance.

    Love's Labour's Lost

Comments

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

  • (adverb/adjective) - To go woolward was to wear woollen next to the skin as a penance. "Wolward and wetshod went I forth" William Langland's Piers Plowman, c.1399.

    --William Toone's Glossary and Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1832

    January 17, 2018