a velvety cord or yarn of silk or worsted, for embroidery, fringes, etc.
fabric made with a fringed silken thread used as the weft in combination with wool or cotton.
any fabric with a protruding pile, as in certain rayon bedspreads.
a deep-pile, durable, woolen carpeting with chenille weft: the most expensive power-loomed floor covering.

1730–40; < French: velvety cord, literally, caterpillar < Latin canīcula, with etymological sense “little dog,” though attested only in senses “shrewish woman, dogfish, Sirius” (see canicular); for parallel use of “cat” in same sense, see caterpillar Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chenille (ʃəˈniːl)
1.  a thick soft tufty silk or worsted velvet cord or yarn used in embroidery and for trimmings, etc
2.  a fabric of such yarn
3.  a rich and hard-wearing carpet of such fabric
[C18: from French, literally: hairy caterpillar, from Latin canicula, diminutive of canis dog]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1738, from Fr. "caterpillar," lit. "little dog," from L. canicula, dim. of canis "dog" (see canine).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The curl prevents the chenille stem from pulling out of the tulip and forms the
  center of the flower.
Soft, cozy faux fur chenille lining made for barefoot wear, cushioned insole.
The model sketched at the left with the contrasting yoke and belt is of cotton
The bed was unmade, the sheets pink with a nubbly chenille coverlet.
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