• synonyms


[ sil-is ]
/ ˈsɪl ɪs /


a garment of haircloth formerly worn by monks; a hair shirt.

Nearby words

ciliary zonule, ciliata, ciliate, ciliated, ciliated epithelium, cilice, cilicia, cilician, cilician gates, ciliectomy, cilio-

Origin of cilice

before 950; < Middle French; replacing Old English cilic < Latin cilicium < Greek kilíkion, neuter of kilíkios Cilician, so called because first made of Cilician goathair Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cilice

  • Cilice, sil′is, n. hair-cloth: a penitential garment made of hair-cloth.

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 1 of 4: A-D)|Various
  • The breastplate and the cilice of bristles she took and dashed with feeble ferocity on the floor.

British Dictionary definitions for cilice


/ (ˈsɪlɪs) /


a haircloth fabric or garment

Word Origin for cilice

Old English cilic, from Latin cilicium shirt made of Cilician goats' hair, from Greek kilikion, from Kilikia Cilicia
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 cilice



Old English cilic, from Latin cilicium "a covering," a type of coarse garment (used especially by soldiers and sailors), originally one of Cilician goat hair, from Greek kilikion "coarse cloth," from Kilikia "Cilicia" in Asia Minor. By tradition in Greek mythology the place was named for Cilix, a son of the Phoenician king Agenor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper