wash their dirty linen public

linen

[lin-uhn]
noun
1.
fabric woven from flax yarns.
2.
Often, linens. bedding, tablecloths, shirts, etc., made of linen cloth or a more common substitute, as cotton.
3.
yarn made of flax fiber.
4.
thread made of flax yarns.
adjective
5.
made of linen: a linen jacket.
Idioms
6.
wash one's dirty linen in public, to discuss in public one's private scandals, disagreements, or difficulties.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English lin(n)en (noun, adj.), Old English linnen, līnen (adj.) made of flax, equivalent to līn flax (< Latin līnum; see line2) + -en -en2

lineny, adjective
half-linen, adjective
underlinen, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
linen (ˈlɪnɪn)
 
n
1.  a.  a hard-wearing fabric woven from the spun fibres of flax
 b.  (as modifier): a linen tablecloth
2.  yarn or thread spun from flax fibre
3.  clothes, sheets, tablecloths, etc, made from linen cloth or from a substitute such as cotton
4.  See linen paper
 
[Old English linnen, ultimately from Latin līnum flax, line²]

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

linen
"cloth from woven flax," mid-14c., from O.E. linin (adj.) "made of flax," from lin "flax, linen thread, cloth," from W.Gmc. *linam (cf. O.N., O.H.G. lin "flax, linen," Ger. Leinen "linen," Goth. lein "linen cloth"), probably an early borrowing from L. linum "flax, linen," which, along with Gk. linon
is from a non-IE language.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Linen definition


(1.) Heb., pishet, pishtah, denotes "flax," of which linen is made (Isa. 19:9); wrought flax, i.e., "linen cloth", Lev. 13:47, 48, 52, 59; Deut. 22:11. Flax was early cultivated in Egypt (Ex. 9:31), and also in Palestine (Josh. 2:6; Hos. 2:9). Various articles were made of it: garments (2 Sam. 6:14), girdles (Jer. 13:1), ropes and thread (Ezek. 40:3), napkins (Luke 24:12; John 20:7), turbans (Ezek. 44:18), and lamp-wicks (Isa. 42:3). (2.) Heb. buts, "whiteness;" rendered "fine linen" in 1 Chr. 4:21; 15:27; 2 Chr. 2:14; 3:14; Esther 1:6; 8:15, and "white linen" 2 Chr. 5:12. It is not certain whether this word means cotton or linen. (3.) Heb. bad; rendered "linen" Ex. 28:42; 39:28; Lev. 6:10; 16:4, 23, 32; 1 Sam. 2:18; 2 Sam. 6:14, etc. It is uniformly used of the sacred vestments worn by the priests. The word is from a root signifying "separation." (4.) Heb. shesh; rendered "fine linen" Ex. 25:4; 26:1, 31, 36, etc. In Prov. 31:22 it is rendered in Authorized Version "silk," and in Revised Version "fine linen." The word denotes Egyptian linen of peculiar whiteness and fineness (byssus). The finest Indian linen, the finest now made, has in an inch one hundred threads of warp and eighty-four of woof; while the Egyptian had sometimes one hundred and forty in the warp and sixty-four in the woof. This was the usual dress of the Egyptian priest. Pharaoh arrayed Joseph in a dress of linen (Gen. 41:42). (5.) Heb. 'etun. Prov. 7:16, "fine linen of Egypt;" in Revised Version, "the yarn of Egypt." (6.) Heb. sadin. Prov. 31:24, "fine linen;" in Revised Version, "linen garments" (Judg. 14:12, 13; Isa. 3:23). From this Hebrew word is probably derived the Greek word sindon, rendered "linen" in Mark 14:51, 52; 15:46; Matt. 27:59. The word "linen" is used as an emblem of moral purity (Rev. 15:6). In Luke 16:19 it is mentioned as a mark of luxury.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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