from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Firm-textured, compactly twisted woolen yarn made from long-staple fibers.
  • noun Fabric made from such yarn.
  • noun Natural or synthetic yarn of a medium weight.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A variety of woolen yarn or thread, spun from long-staple wool which has been combed, and in the spinning is twisted harder than is usual. It is knitted or woven into stockings, carpets, etc.
  • noun Woolen yarn for ornamental needlework and knitting.
  • Consisting of worsted; made of worsted yarn: as, worsted stockings.

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

  • noun Well-twisted yarn spun of long-staple wool which has been combed to lay the fibers parallel, used for carpets, cloth, hosiery, gloves, and the like.
  • noun Fine and soft woolen yarn, untwisted or lightly twisted, used in knitting and embroidery.

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

  • verb Simple past tense and past participle of worst.
  • adjective Defeated, overcome.
  • noun Yarn made from long strands of wool.
  • noun The fine, smooth fabric made from such wool yarn.

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

  • noun a woolen fabric with a hard textured surface and no nap; woven of worsted yarns
  • noun a tightly twisted woolen yarn spun from long-staple wool


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

[Middle English, variant of worthstede, after Worthstede, (Worstead), a village of eastern England.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Participle adjective of the verb worst.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Named after Worsted (now Worstead), a town in Norfolk, England.


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  • Shakspeare has not been very courteous towards the _worsted gentry_; had he lived in our times, they might have _worsted_ him for a libel: he says in King Lear, "A base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three suited, hundred pound, filthy, worsted stocking knave."

    The Mirror Of Literature, Amusement, And Instruction Volume 14, No. 391, September 26, 1829 Various

  • For the first lesson I had two balls, one made in worsted, large and soft, the other a bullet.

    The Story of My Life Annie Sullivan 1905

  • * Yet a lady of not less than fifty years of age, placed herself at the same time under his instruction, and executed a large piece of worsted from a good mezzotinto print – a cupid and lion.

    Autobiography and Other Memorials of Mrs. Gilbert, Formerly Ann Taylor 1874

  • These will be from Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks, the 5-Stitches-Per-Inch socks in worsted-weight yarn.

    The Fiber Fulcrum – Shawls, Stoles, Scarves & Socks « Looking for Roots 2010

  • For many years, worsted-weight acrylic yarn was called 4-ply acrylic, but is increasingly known as worsted, because a 4-ply yarn might not be worsted weight if the four plies used to create it are not the size required to make that your weight.

    A Passion for Knitting Nancy J. Thomas 2002

  • On such occasions I would recommend the following method: -- First, draw the fowl, reserving the gizzard and liver to be tucked under the wings; truss the fowl with skewers, and tie it to the end of a skein of worsted, which is to be fastened to a nail stuck in the chimney-piece, so that the fowl may dangle rather close to the fire, in order to roast it.

    A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes Charles Elm�� Francatelli

  • Should the Turks be at all worsted, which is probable, of course we must increase our assistance.

    The Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol 2 (of 3), 1844-1853 A Selection from her Majesty's correspondence between the years 1837 and 1861 Queen of Great Britain Victoria 1860

  • "In no description of manufacture connected with the woollen trade has machinery been more fertile in improvements than in what may be termed the worsted stuff trade."

    Rides on Railways Samuel Sidney 1848

  • The long is used for worsted, which is finished when it leaves the loom; the short for cloth, which is compacted together, increased in bulk and diminished in breadth, by fulling; that is, so beating as to take advantage of the serrated edges of the wool which lead it to felt together.

    Rides on Railways Samuel Sidney 1848

  • The English-Latin dictionary also had a translation for woosted: woosted being the old form of "worsted", the spinning term.

    Archive 2009-04-01 Penny 2009


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