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[muhz-lin] /ˈmʌz lɪn/
a cotton fabric made in various degrees of fineness and often printed, woven, or embroidered in patterns, especially a cotton fabric of plain weave, used for sheets and for a variety of other purposes.
Origin of muslin
1600-10; < French mousseline < Italian mussolina, equivalent to Mussol(o) Mosul, Iraq (where first made) + -ina -ine1
Related forms
undermuslin, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for muslin
  • Strain the infusion with a tea strainer, sieve or muslin cloth and discard the herb parts.
  • Use dried lavender and a small muslin bag to form a sachet.
  • Soon, thick warm sesame oil infused with medicinal herbs began to permeate my meager muslin thong.
  • Her muslin cap, without spot and covered with embroidery, had lappets trimmed with lace.
  • She now received splendid clothes of silk and muslin.
  • The sunlight awoke glades and paths among them, slung with muslin spider-webs, and their trunks glowed with a parchment whiteness.
  • He left some meat exposed and other pieces under muslin.
  • Using muslin and the enlarged pattern, make the cover for the hanger.
  • Many ordinary school rooms were adapted for open air use by leaving the windows opened and fitting them with muslin screens.
  • All of the remains were wrapped in muslin and left on site, protected by plastic and tarps.
British Dictionary definitions for muslin


a fine plain-weave cotton fabric
Word Origin
C17: from French mousseline, from Italian mussolina, from Arabic mawşilīy of Mosul, from Mawşil Mosul, Iraq, where it was first produced
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 muslin

c.1600, "delicately woven cotton fabric," from French mousseline (17c.), from Italian mussolina, from Mussolo, Italian name of Mosul, city in northern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) where muslin was made. Like many fabric names, it has changed meaning over the years, in this case from luxurious to commonplace. In 13c. French, mosulin meant "cloth of silk and gold." The meaning "everyday cotton fabric for shirts, bedding, etc." is first attested 1872 in American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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