in sackcloth ashes

sackcloth

[sak-klawth, -kloth]
noun
2.
coarse cloth worn as a sign of mourning or penitence.
Idioms
3.
in sackcloth and ashes, in a state of repentance or sorrow; contrite: She would be in sackcloth and ashes for days over every trifling error she made.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English; see sack1, cloth

sackclothed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
sackcloth (ˈsækˌklɒθ)
 
n
1.  coarse cloth such as sacking
2.  garments made of such cloth, worn formerly to indicate mourning or penitence
3.  sackcloth and ashes a public display of extreme grief, remorse, or repentance

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sackcloth
penitential garb, c.1300, from sack (n.1) + cloth. In the Biblical sense it was of goats' or camels' hair, the coarsest possible clothing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Sackcloth definition


cloth made of black goats' hair, coarse, rough, and thick, used for sacks, and also worn by mourners (Gen. 37:34; 42:25; 2 Sam. 3:31; Esther 4:1, 2; Ps. 30:11, etc.), and as a sign of repentance (Matt. 11:21). It was put upon animals by the people of Nineveh (Jonah 3:8).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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