Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[ging-uh m] /ˈgɪŋ əm/
yarn-dyed, plain-weave cotton fabric, usually striped or checked.
1605-15; < Dutch gingang < Malay gəŋgaŋ, giŋgaŋ with space between, hence, striped Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for gingham
  • The company's newest materials include soft pastel velvet, gingham and vintage alphabet patterns.
  • Pay for the meal and carry it to an adjoining room where soft light filters through red-checked gingham curtains.
  • Though no cooking is required of her, she ties a gingham apron around her tiny waist the second she arrives.
British Dictionary definitions for gingham


  1. a cotton fabric, usually woven of two coloured yarns in a checked or striped design
  2. (as modifier): a gingham dress
Word Origin
C17: from French guingan, from Malay ginggang striped cloth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gingham

1610s, from Dutch gingang, traders' rendering of a Malay word said to be ginggang "striped," used as a noun with the sense of "striped cotton." Cf. French guingan, Spanish guinga, Italian gingano, German gingang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for gingham

plain-woven fabric, originally made completely of cotton fibres but later also of man-made fibres, which derives its colour and pattern effects from carded or combed yarns. The name comes from the Malay word genggang, meaning "striped," and thence from the French guingan, used by the Bretons to signify cloth made from striped colouring. Medium or fine yarns of varying quality are used to obtain the plain, checked, or striped effects. The warp and the weft, or filling, may be the same, even-sided and balanced

Learn more about gingham with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for gingham

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for gingham

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with gingham