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[kroo-uh l] /ˈkru əl/
Also called crewel yarn. a worsted yarn for embroidery and edging.
Origin of crewel
First recorded in 1485-95; earlier crule; origin uncertain
Related forms
crewelist, creweler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for crewel
Historical Examples
  • The stitches just described were largely used in crewel work.

  • In point of furnishing it had not yet reached the "God bless our Home" stage in crewel.

    On Horseback Charles Dudley Warner
  • As a matter of fact, the work is not tapestry at all, but crewel work.

    Normandy G. E. Mitton
  • E 'it the onoffending turf a crewel blow, and there was a narsty crack. '

  • For 'arf the rarnd it stood the crewel strane and then it didn't break.

  • Then the crewel work slipped off her lap, and Lady Kynaston slept.

    Vera Nevill Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron
  • Even "Margaret, aged nine," delivered a soothing message to him in the faded blues of her crewel work.

    The Ancient Law Ellen Glasgow
  • The medlar-like fruit is worked in crewel stitch in bands of brown, stem lighter in shade.

    Jacobean Embroidery

    Ada Wentworth Fitzwilliam and A. F. Morris Hands
  • These were wrought with borders of crewelwork, and finished with elaborate thread and crewel fringes.

  • It is probable that in one form or another possessions of crewel embroidery were transported with them.

British Dictionary definitions for crewel


a loosely twisted worsted yarn, used in fancy work and embroidery
Derived Forms
crewelist, noun
crewelwork, noun
Word Origin
C15: of unknown origin
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 crewel

embroidery, 1590s, of unknown origin. Earliest usage is late 15c., as a name for a kind of thin, worsted yarn originally used in crewel work.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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