[ flan-l ]
See synonyms for: flannelflannels on Thesaurus.com

  1. a soft, slightly napped fabric of wool or wool and another fiber, used for trousers, jackets, shirts, etc.

  2. a soft, warm, light fabric of cotton or cotton and another fiber, thickly napped on one side and used for sleepwear, undergarments, sheets, etc.

  1. flannels,

    • an outer garment, especially trousers, made of flannel.

    • woolen undergarments.

  2. British.

    • a washcloth.

    • Informal. nonsense; humbug; empty talk.

    • Informal. flattery; insincere or overdone praise.

verb (used with object),flan·neled, flan·nel·ing or (especially British), flan·nelled, flan·nel·ling.
  1. to cover or clothe with flannel.

  2. to rub with flannel.

Origin of flannel

1300–50; Middle English flaunneol, perhaps dissimilated variant of flanyn sackcloth <Welsh; compare Welsh gwlanen woolen article, equivalent to gwlânwool (akin to Latin lāna) + -en suffix denoting a single item (as a piece of a mass noun or singular of a collective plural)

Words Nearby flannel

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use flannel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for flannel


/ (ˈflænəl) /

  1. a soft light woollen fabric with a slight nap, used for clothing

  2. (plural) trousers or other garments made of flannel

  1. British a small piece of cloth used to wash the face and hands; face cloth: US and Canadian equivalent: washcloth

  2. British informal indirect or evasive talk; deceiving flattery

verb-nels, -nelling or -nelled or US -nels, -neling or -neled (tr)
  1. to cover or wrap with flannel

  2. to rub, clean, or polish with flannel

  1. British informal to talk evasively to; flatter in order to mislead

Origin of flannel

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

Derived forms of flannel

  • flannelly, adjective

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