World English Dictionary
velvet (ˈvɛlvɪt)
1.  a.  a fabric of silk, cotton, nylon, etc, with a thick close soft usually lustrous pile
 b.  (as modifier): velvet curtains
2.  anything with a smooth soft surface
3.  a.  smoothness; softness
 b.  (as modifier): velvet skin; a velvet night
4.  the furry covering of the newly formed antlers of a deer
5.  slang chiefly (US)
 a.  gambling or speculative winnings
 b.  a gain, esp when unexpectedly high
6.  velvet glove gentleness or caution, often concealing strength or determination (esp in the phrase an iron fistorhand in a velvet glove)
[C14: veluet, from Old French veluotte, from velu hairy, from Vulgar Latin villutus (unattested), from Latin villus shaggy hair]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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