sackcloth

[ sak-klawth, -kloth ]
/ ˈsækˌklɔθ, -ˌklɒθ /

noun

coarse cloth worn as a sign of mourning or penitence.

Idioms

    in sackcloth and ashes, in a state of repentance or sorrow; contrite: She would be in sackcloth and ashes for days over every trifling error she made.

Origin of sackcloth

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at sack1, cloth

Related forms

sack·clothed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in sack cloth and ashes

sackcloth

/ (ˈsækˌklɒθ) /

noun

coarse cloth such as sacking
garments made of such cloth, worn formerly to indicate mourning or penitence
sackcloth and ashes a public display of extreme grief, remorse, or repentance
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