[bom-buh-zeen, bom-buh-zeen]
a twill fabric constructed of a silk or rayon warp and worsted filling, often dyed black for mourning wear.
Also, bombasine, bombazeen.

1545–55; earlier bombasin < Middle French < Medieval Latin bombasinum, variant of bombȳcinum, noun use of neuter of Latin bombȳcinus silken < Greek bombȳ́kinos, equivalent to bombȳk-, stem of bómbȳx silkworm + -inos -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bombazine or bombasine (ˌbɒmbəˈziːn, ˈbɒmbəˌziːn, ˌbɒmbəˈziːn, ˈbɒmbəˌziːn)
a twilled fabric, esp one with a silk warp and worsted weft, formerly worn dyed black for mourning
[C16: from Old French bombasin, from Latin bombӯcinus silken, from bombyx silkworm, silk; see bombacaceous]
bombasine or bombasine
[C16: from Old French bombasin, from Latin bombӯcinus silken, from bombyx silkworm, silk; see bombacaceous]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

(also bombasine, bambazine), 1550s, from Fr. bombasin (14c.) "cotton cloth," from M.L. bombacinium "silk texture," from L.L. bombycinium, neut. of bombycinius "silken," from bombyx "silk, silkworm," from Gk. bombyx. The post-classical transfer of the word from "silk" to "cotton" may reflect the perceived
"silk-like" nature of the fabric, or a waning of familiarity with genuine silk in the European Dark Ages, but cf. bombast.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


textile, usually black in colour, with a silk warp and worsted weft, or filling, woven in either plain or twill weave. Cheaper grades are woven with a rayon warp and worsted or cotton weft. Bombazine was originally made exclusively of silk and in a variety of colours, but the usual colour gradually became standardized as black because of its principal use in garb of mourning and of persons in religious orders. It was woven with silk warps and worsted wefts.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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