[klohz-lahyn, klohth z-]


a strong, narrow rope, cord, wire, etc., usually stretched between two poles, posts, or buildings, on which clean laundry is hung to dry.

Origin of clothesline

First recorded in 1820–30; clothes + line1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clothes-line

Historical Examples of clothes-line

  • No, I have not seen them yet—anything but their stockings on the clothes-line.

    The Very Small Person

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • Then, with a clothes-line, I tied him up carefully, hand and foot.

    Rudder Grange

    Frank R. Stockton

  • Then he noticed the clothes-line, and thought he might do something with that.

    Hollow Tree Nights and Days

    Albert Bigelow Paine

  • The cross had been taken down when a prop was wanted for the clothes-line.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

  • I brung him home, and your mam she passed out the clothes-line, and I tied him up.

British Dictionary definitions for clothes-line



a piece of rope, cord, or wire on which clean washing is hung to dry or air
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 clothes-line

also clothesline, 1830, from clothes + line (n.). As a kind of high tackle in U.S. football (the effect is similar to running into a taut clothesline) attested by 1970; as a verb in this sense by 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper