• synonyms


[bom-buh-zeen, bom-buh-zeen]
  1. a twill fabric constructed of a silk or rayon warp and worsted filling, often dyed black for mourning wear.
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Also bombasine, bom·ba·zeen.

Origin of bombazine

1545–55; earlier bombasin < Middle French < Medieval Latin bombasinum, variant of bombȳcinum, noun use of neuter of Latin bombȳcinus silken < Greek bombȳ́kinos, equivalent to bombȳk-, stem of bómbȳx silkworm + -inos -ine1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bombazine

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And what wonders of revelation in the bombazine pocket of the one and the sleeve of the other!

    The Wedding Ring

    T. De Witt Talmage

  • Bombazine, the silk and worsted stuff of which a lawyer's gown was made.

    St. Ronan's Well

    Sir Walter Scott

  • Here comes another with a sou'-wester and a bombazine cloak.

  • We were admitted by a very sour-looking female in bombazine.

    St. Ives

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • Short, wrinkled and bent with age, she wore a bombazine gown of antique cut—its whilom black red-rusty from time's dye.

British Dictionary definitions for bombazine



  1. a twilled fabric, esp one with a silk warp and worsted weft, formerly worn dyed black for mourning
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Word Origin

C16: from Old French bombasin, from Latin bombӯcinus silken, from bombyx silkworm, silk; see bombacaceous
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

Word Origin and History for bombazine


(also bombasine, bambazine), 1550s, from French bombasin (14c.) "cotton cloth," from Medieval Latin bombacinium "silk texture," from Late Latin bombycinium, neuter of bombycinius "silken," from bombyx "silk, silkworm," from Greek bombyx. The post-classical transfer of the word from "silk" to "cotton" may reflect the perceived "silk-like" nature of the fabric, or a waning of familiarity with genuine silk in the European Dark Ages, but cf. bombast.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper