merino

[muh-ree-noh]
noun, plural merinos.
1.
(often initial capital letter) one of a breed of sheep, raised originally in Spain, valued for their fine wool.
2.
wool from such sheep.
3.
a yarn or fabric made from this wool.
adjective
4.
made of merino wool, yarn, or cloth.

Origin:
1775–85; < Spanish < Arabic (banū) marīn a Berber tribe known for raising this breed

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World English Dictionary
merino (məˈriːnəʊ)
 
n , pl -nos
1.  a breed of sheep, originating in Spain, bred for their fleece
2.  the long fine wool of this sheep
3.  the yarn made from this wool, often mixed with cotton
4.  informal (Austral) pure merino
 a.  history a free settler rather than a convict
 b.  an affluent and socially prominent person
 c.  (as modifier): a pure merino cricketer
 
adj
5.  made from merino wool
 
[C18: from Spanish, origin uncertain]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

merino
"fine-wool breed of sheep," 1781, from Sp., possibly from Ar. Merini, a Berber family or tribe of sheep farmers in northwest Africa whose animals were imported into Spain 14c.-15c. to improve local breeds. Or from L. majorinus, from major "greater," either in ref. to size of the animals or from Sp. derivative
merino (n.) "overseer of cattle pastures," also a title of judicial officers.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Made of merino wool, arguably the finest performance material ever.
They also blend cashmere with almost anything else-yak or camel hair, merino wool, even nylon.
Only way to avoid that is go merino which triples price.
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