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[hair-klawth, -kloth] /ˈhɛərˌklɔθ, -ˌklɒθ/
cloth of hair from the manes and tails of horses, woven with a cotton warp, and used for interlinings of clothes, upholstery, etc.
Also called cilice.
Origin of haircloth
1490-1500; hair + cloth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for haircloth
Historical Examples
  • Rebecca returned at this moment and seated herself on the haircloth settle, nodding silently to Droop.

    The Panchronicon Harold Steele Mackaye
  • Miss Isobel's attitude toward her mother was that of a monk to his haircloth shirt.

    Quin Alice Hegan Rice
  • Yet so violent was Gitl's agitation that she had to sit down on the haircloth lounge for breath and to regain composure.

    Yekl Abraham Cahan
  • See, place your feet on this roll, and let me cover them with the haircloth—so; does that suit you?'

    Penshurst Castle Emma Marshall
  • He obeyed the order; but he wore the haircloth shirt and frock of the order to which he belonged under his robes of purple.

  • The seats were covered with rep, but must have had haircloth on them at one time.

    Polly's Business Venture Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • He drew near to it with naked feet, and with haircloth about his body.

  • From such a curse, and haircloth next my skin, good Heaven deliver me!

    Thomas Otway Thomas Otway
  • After the first delight of meeting had passed, they sat side by side on the haircloth sofa and took stock of each other.

    The Blazed Trail Stewart Edward White
  • Other industries are the making of chemicals, ironware, soda and haircloth.

British Dictionary definitions for haircloth


a cloth woven from horsehair, used in upholstery
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 haircloth

c.1500, from hair + cloth.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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