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[lint] /lɪnt/
minute shreds or ravelings of yarn; bits of thread.
staple cotton fiber used to make yarn.
cotton waste produced by the ginning process.
a soft material for dressing wounds, procured by scraping or otherwise treating linen cloth.
Origin of lint
1325-75; Middle English, variant of linnet; compare Middle French linette linseed, Old English līnet- flax (or flax-field) in līnetwige lintwhite
Related forms
lintless, adjective
delint, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lint
  • But there's a certain magic in all of that lint and dandruff and morning breath.
  • Those included a fear of being slapped on the back or having someone pick lint off his clothing.
  • It goes all the way down to the lint catchers in public laundry facilities.
  • They can't even take their wallets out of their pockets without a bunch of lint and gum wrappers coming out with them.
  • However the escalator also had a heavy buildup of litter, dirt and lint.
  • Use a clothesline instead of the dryer but if that's not feasible, be sure to clean the lint trap after each load.
  • It's the little things that count-a stray hair, a piece of lint, a smudge of mud.
  • And think about cleaning lint off the dryer where it vents outdoors.
  • But the magnetic heads needed to be in contact with the bill and would frequently become fouled with grime and lint.
  • Cotton gins often add moisture to lint before it is baled.
British Dictionary definitions for lint


an absorbent cotton or linen fabric with the nap raised on one side, used to dress wounds, etc
shreds of fibre, yarn, etc
(mainly US) staple fibre for making cotton yarn
Derived Forms
linty, adjective
Word Origin
C14: probably from Latin linteus made of linen, from līnum flax
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 lint

late 14c., "flax prepared for spinning," also "refuse of flax used as kindling," somehow from the source of Old English lin "flax" (see linen), perhaps from or by influence of Middle French linette "grain of flax," diminutive of lin "flax," from Latin linum "flax, linen;" Klein suggests from Latin linteum "linen cloth," neuter of adjective linteus. Later "flax refuse used as tinder or for dressing wounds" (c.1400). Still used for "flax" in Scotland in Burns' time. Applied in American English to stray cotton fluff.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lint in Technology

A Unix C language processor which carries out more thorough checks on the code than is usual with C compilers.
Lint is named after the bits of fluff it supposedly picks from programs. Judging by references on Usenet this term has become a shorthand for desk check at some non-Unix shops, even in languages other than C. Also used as delint.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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