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[li-noh-lee-uh m] /lɪˈnoʊ li əm/
a hard, washable floor covering formed by coating burlap or canvas with linseed oil, powdered cork, and rosin, and adding pigments to create the desired colors and patterns.
any floor covering similar to this.
Origin of linoleum
1863; < Latin līn(um) flax, linen + oleum oil; formerly trademark Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for linoleum
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The carpet covered only two-thirds of the floor, and was eked out by linoleum.

    Betty Trevor Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
  • Would you finish your tea, and then we will buy the linoleum for the cubicles.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • Out upon the linoleum 29 rolled the glistening coinsseveral of them gold piecesthat Jess had noted so greedily in the egg store.

  • Above the felt we laid the linoleum, with more pitch and tar to stick it.

    A Floating Home Cyril Ionides
  • The linoleum on the floor and the American cloth on the table were equally bright.

British Dictionary definitions for linoleum


a sheet material made of hessian, jute, etc, coated under pressure and heat with a mixture of powdered cork, linseed oil, rosin, and pigment, used as a floor covering Often shortened to lino
Word Origin
C19: from Latin līnum flax + oleum 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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Word Origin and History for linoleum

1860, coined by English inventor Frederick Walton (1837-1928), from Latin linum "flax, linen" (see linen) + oleum "oil" (see oil (n.)). Originally, a preparation of solidified linseed oil used to coat canvas for making floor coverings; the word was applied to the flooring material itself after 1878. The Linoleum Manufacturing Company was formed 1864.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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