- 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.
- an outer garment, especially trousers, made of flannel.
- woolen undergarments.
- a washcloth.
- Informal.nonsense; humbug; empty talk.
- Informal.flattery; insincere or overdone praise.
- to cover or clothe with flannel.
- to rub with flannel.
Origin of flannel
- a soft light woollen fabric with a slight nap, used for clothing
- (plural) trousers or other garments made of flannel
- See cotton flannel
- British a small piece of cloth used to wash the face and hands; face clothUS and Canadian equivalent: washcloth
- British informal indirect or evasive talk; deceiving flattery
- to cover or wrap with flannel
- to rub, clean, or polish with flannel
- British informal to talk evasively to; flatter in order to mislead
Word Origin for flannel
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.