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antimacassar

[an-ti-muh-kas-er] /ˌæn tɪ məˈkæs ər/
noun
1.
a small covering, usually ornamental, placed on the backs and arms of upholstered furniture to prevent wear or soiling; a tidy.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55; anti- + Macassar (oil)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for antimacassar

antimacassar

/ˌæntɪməˈkæsə/
noun
1.
a cloth covering the back and arms of chairs, etc, to prevent soiling or as decoration
Word Origin
C19: from anti- + Macassar (oil)
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
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Encyclopedia Article for antimacassar

protective covering thrown over the back of a chair or the head or cushions of a sofa, named after Macassar, a hair-oil in general use in the 19th century. The original antimacassars were made of stiff white crochet-work, but later soft, coloured materials, such as embroidered wools or silks, were used. In the 20th century the use of antimacassars largely died out.

Learn more about antimacassar with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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