• synonyms


[kloh-th ing]
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  1. garments collectively; clothes; raiment; apparel.
  2. a covering.
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Origin of clothing

Middle English word dating back to 1150–1200; see origin at clothe, -ing1


verb (used with object), clothed or clad, cloth·ing.
  1. to dress; attire.
  2. to provide with clothing.
  3. to cover with or as with clothing.
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Origin of clothe

before 950; Middle English clothen, Old English clāthian, derivative of clāth cloth
Related formshalf-clothed, adjectivepre·clothe, verb (used with object), pre·clothed, pre·cloth·ing.re·clothe, verb (used with object), re·clothed or re·clad, re·cloth·ing.un·der·clothed, adjectivewell-clothed, adjective
Can be confusedcloth clothe clothes


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for clothing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Is not the life more precious than its food, and the body than its clothing?

  • He ran up the staircase to his room and flung on some clothing.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • If it were not for the necessity of bread and clothing, what a good time a fellow might have.

  • The kind of clothing worn by a man whose tailor is a blacksmith.

  • Their clothing was torn by bullets and reddened by dripping wounds.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

British Dictionary definitions for clothing


  1. garments collectively
  2. something that covers or clothes
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verb clothes, clothing, clothed or clad (tr)
  1. to dress or attire (a person)
  2. to provide with clothing or covering
  3. to conceal or disguise
  4. to endow or invest
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Word Origin

Old English clāthian, from clāth cloth; related to Old Norse klætha
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 clothing


c.1200, "action of dressing in clothes," verbal noun from clothe. From late 13c. as "clothes collectively;" 1590s as an adjective.

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Old English claðian, from claþ (see cloth). Related: Clothed, clothing. Other Old English words for this were scrydan and gewædian.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with clothing


see wolf in sheep's clothing.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.