flannel

[ flan-l ]
/ ˈflæn l /
|

noun

a soft, slightly napped fabric of wool or wool and another fiber, used for trousers, jackets, shirts, etc.
a soft, warm, light fabric of cotton or cotton and another fiber, thickly napped on one side and used for sleepwear, undergarments, sheets, etc.
flannels,
  1. an outer garment, especially trousers, made of flannel.
  2. woolen undergarments.
British.
  1. a washcloth.
  2. Informal. nonsense; humbug; empty talk.
  3. Informal. flattery; insincere or overdone praise.

verb (used with object), flan·neled, flan·nel·ing or (especially British), flan·nelled, flan·nel·ling.

to cover or clothe with flannel.
to rub with flannel.

RELATED WORDS

Origin of flannel

1300–50; Middle English flaunneol, perhaps dissimilated variant of flanyn sackcloth < Welsh; compare Welsh gwlanen woolen article, equivalent to gwlân wool (akin to Latin lāna) + -en suffix denoting a single item (as a piece of a mass noun or singular of a collective plural)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flannel

British Dictionary definitions for flannel

flannel

/ (ˈflænəl) /

noun

verb -nels, -nelling or -nelled or US -nels, -neling or -neled (tr)

Derived Formsflannelly, adjective

Word Origin for flannel

C14: probably variant of flanen sackcloth, from Welsh gwlanen woollen fabric, from gwlân wool
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 flannel

flannel


n.

c.1500, probably from Welsh gwlanen "woolen cloth," from gwlan "wool," from Celtic *wlana, from PIE *wele- "wool."

The Welsh origin is not a universally accepted etymology, due to the sound changes involved; some (Barnhart, Gamillscheg) suggest the English word is from an Anglo-French diminutive of Old French flaine "a kind of coarse wool." "As flannel was already in the 16th c. a well-known production of Wales, a Welsh origin for the word seems antecedently likely" [OED]. Modern French flanelle is a 17c. borrowing from English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper