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[oil-klawth, -kloth] /ˈɔɪlˌklɔθ, -ˌklɒθ/
noun, plural oilcloths
[oil-klawth z, -kloth z, -klawths, -kloths] /ˈɔɪlˌklɔðz, -ˌklɒðz, -ˌklɔθs, -ˌklɒθs/ (Show IPA),
for 2.
a cotton fabric made waterproof by being treated with oil and pigment, for use as tablecloths, shelf coverings, and the like.
a piece of this fabric.
Origin of oilcloth
1690-1700; oil + cloth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for oilcloth
Historical Examples
  • A tin "pan" and "pitcher" of water stood near the door, and the table in the middle of the room was covered with oilcloth.

    Auld Licht Idylls J. M. Barrie
  • That done, we covered them with the oilcloth, and sat down comfortably by the fire.

    Eben Holden Irving Bacheller
  • And he gazed at the oilcloth table cover as if he had been listening.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • You might as well try to dry yourself on the glossy side of a piece of oilcloth.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • Robert took from next the skin a package wrapped in oilcloth.

    The Pirate of Panama William MacLeod Raine
  • So much of it has gone in that oilcloth business, and all for nothing!

    Miss Mackenzie Anthony Trollope
  • The floor had been recently swept and the oilcloth on the table was shining.

  • The floor of a kitchen should be painted, or, which is better, covered with an oilcloth.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy Catherine Esther Beecher
  • They must have the smell of oilcloth and Irish stew around them, and then the world says, 'This is art' or 'This is reality.'

    Dodo's Daughter E. F. Benson
  • They occupied stools at a high counter covered with oilcloth.

    Stubble George Looms
British Dictionary definitions for oilcloth


waterproof material made by treating one side of a cotton fabric with a drying oil, or a synthetic resin
another name for linoleum
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 oilcloth

1690s, "cotton or a similar fabric waterproofed with oil," from oil (n.) + cloth. In reference to an oil-treated canvas used as a cheap floor covering, 1796.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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