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[oil-klawth, -kloth] /ˈɔɪlˌklɔθ, -ˌklɒθ/
noun, plural oilcloths
[oil-klawth z, -kloth z, -klawths, -kloths] /ˈɔɪlˌklɔðz, -ˌklɒðz, -ˌklɔθs, -ˌklɒθs/ (Show IPA),
for 2.
a cotton fabric made waterproof by being treated with oil and pigment, for use as tablecloths, shelf coverings, and the like.
a piece of this fabric.
Origin of oilcloth
First recorded in 1690-1700; oil + cloth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for oilcloth
Historical Examples
  • Then, when the oilcloth cover had been wiped, the lesson began on a corner of the table.

  • And he gazed at the oilcloth table cover as if he had been listening.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • Then a man ran out of the draper's with a roll of oilcloth, and off they went again.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • You might as well try to dry yourself on the glossy side of a piece of oilcloth.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • Robert took from next the skin a package wrapped in oilcloth.

    The Pirate of Panama William MacLeod Raine
  • The floor about the bed is protected by newspapers or oilcloth.

    The Mother and Her Child William S. Sadler
  • So much of it has gone in that oilcloth business, and all for nothing!

    Miss Mackenzie

    Anthony Trollope
  • On Tuesday, November 5, we started, each of us being clad in oilcloth.

  • He sat in the corner on a lounge, which was covered with oilcloth—and waited.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • That done, we covered them with the oilcloth, and sat down comfortably by the fire.

    Eben Holden Irving Bacheller
British Dictionary definitions for oilcloth


waterproof material made by treating one side of a cotton fabric with a drying oil, or a synthetic resin
another name for linoleum
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 oilcloth

1690s, "cotton or a similar fabric waterproofed with oil," from oil (n.) + cloth. In reference to an oil-treated canvas used as a cheap floor covering, 1796.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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