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linen

[lin-uh n] /ˈlɪn ən/
noun
1.
fabric woven from flax yarns.
2.
Often, linens. bedding, tablecloths, shirts, etc., made of linen cloth or a more common substitute, as cotton.
3.
yarn made of flax fiber.
4.
thread made of flax yarns.
adjective
5.
made of linen:
a linen jacket.
Idioms
6.
wash one's dirty linen in public, to discuss in public one's private scandals, disagreements, or difficulties.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English lin(n)en (noun, adj.), Old English linnen, līnen (adj.) made of flax, equivalent to līn flax (< Latin līnum; see line2) + -en -en2
Related forms
lineny, adjective
half-linen, adjective
underlinen, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for linen
  • Or a linen type of fabric, a light canvas, or even textured wall paper.
  • It's also a great way to use up any extra cotton or linen fabric.
  • linen is your friend, because it can get quite warm.
  • Demand for linen and silk is depressed by the artificially low price of cotton.
  • The newfound shroud was something of a patchwork of simply woven linen and wool textiles, the study found.
  • By the time the stove is on its legs, he gets reckless and takes off his old coat regardless of his linen.
  • Then the figures-each made of linen bundles wrapped in wire armatures-were painstakingly cleaned and repaired.
  • At night, dress up jeans and a linen shirt with a turquoise-studded belt or brooch.
  • The cards are high quality linen stock and their art is colorful and well-printed.
  • For the royal weddings of the past, the celebratory crockery and linen in shops was starchy and deferential.
British Dictionary definitions for linen

linen

/ˈlɪnɪn/
noun
1.
  1. a hard-wearing fabric woven from the spun fibres of flax
  2. (as modifier): a linen tablecloth
2.
yarn or thread spun from flax fibre
3.
clothes, sheets, tablecloths, etc, made from linen cloth or from a substitute such as cotton
4.
Word Origin
Old English linnen, ultimately from Latin līnum flax, line²
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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Word Origin and History for linen
n.

"cloth from woven flax," early 14c.; earlier as an adjective, "made of flax" (c.1200), from Old English linin (adj.) "made of flax," from lin "flax, linen thread, cloth," from West Germanic *linam (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old High German lin "flax, linen," German Leinen "linen," Gothic lein "linen cloth"), probably an early borrowing from Latin linum "flax, linen," which, along with Greek linon is from a non-IE language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for linen

linen

Related Terms

dirty linen, wash one's dirty linen


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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linen in the Bible

(1.) Heb., pishet, pishtah, denotes "flax," of which linen is made (Isa. 19:9); wrought flax, i.e., "linen cloth", Lev. 13:47, 48, 52, 59; Deut. 22:11. Flax was early cultivated in Egypt (Ex. 9:31), and also in Palestine (Josh. 2:6; Hos. 2:9). Various articles were made of it: garments (2 Sam. 6:14), girdles (Jer. 13:1), ropes and thread (Ezek. 40:3), napkins (Luke 24:12; John 20:7), turbans (Ezek. 44:18), and lamp-wicks (Isa. 42:3). (2.) Heb. buts, "whiteness;" rendered "fine linen" in 1 Chr. 4:21; 15:27; 2 Chr. 2:14; 3:14; Esther 1:6; 8:15, and "white linen" 2 Chr. 5:12. It is not certain whether this word means cotton or linen. (3.) Heb. bad; rendered "linen" Ex. 28:42; 39:28; Lev. 6:10; 16:4, 23, 32; 1 Sam. 2:18; 2 Sam. 6:14, etc. It is uniformly used of the sacred vestments worn by the priests. The word is from a root signifying "separation." (4.) Heb. shesh; rendered "fine linen" Ex. 25:4; 26:1, 31, 36, etc. In Prov. 31:22 it is rendered in Authorized Version "silk," and in Revised Version "fine linen." The word denotes Egyptian linen of peculiar whiteness and fineness (byssus). The finest Indian linen, the finest now made, has in an inch one hundred threads of warp and eighty-four of woof; while the Egyptian had sometimes one hundred and forty in the warp and sixty-four in the woof. This was the usual dress of the Egyptian priest. Pharaoh arrayed Joseph in a dress of linen (Gen. 41:42). (5.) Heb. 'etun. Prov. 7:16, "fine linen of Egypt;" in Revised Version, "the yarn of Egypt." (6.) Heb. sadin. Prov. 31:24, "fine linen;" in Revised Version, "linen garments" (Judg. 14:12, 13; Isa. 3:23). From this Hebrew word is probably derived the Greek word sindon, rendered "linen" in Mark 14:51, 52; 15:46; Matt. 27:59. The word "linen" is used as an emblem of moral purity (Rev. 15:6). In Luke 16:19 it is mentioned as a mark of luxury.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with linen
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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