Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

linen

[lin-uh n] /ˈlɪn ən/
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 of linen
900
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
Related forms
lineny, adjective
half-linen, adjective
underlinen, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for linen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was naked save for a linen under shirt and pair of woollen drawers.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Did she wish to say that she was grateful to him for having helped her in recovering the linen?

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • "To seek the linen for the new sheets, but it was not ready," she answered glibly.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • And the linen I shall deposit, in pursuance of your kind hint, cannot be missed.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Pick them from the stalks, and squeeze them through a linen bag.

British Dictionary definitions for linen

linen

/ˈlɪnɪn/
noun
1.
  1. a hard-wearing fabric woven from the spun fibres of flax
  2. (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.
Word Origin
Old English linnen, ultimately from Latin līnum flax, line²
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for linen
n.

"cloth from woven flax," early 14c.; earlier as an adjective, "made of flax" (c.1200), from Old English linin (adj.) "made of flax," from lin "flax, linen thread, cloth," from West Germanic *linam (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old High German lin "flax, linen," German Leinen "linen," Gothic lein "linen cloth"), probably an early borrowing from Latin linum "flax, linen," which, along with Greek linon is from a non-IE language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for linen

linen

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with linen
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for linen

Difficulty index for linen

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for linen

5
8
Scrabble Words With Friends