• synonyms


  1. a short, coarse, brittle fiber, used chiefly in the manufacture of carpets.
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Origin of kemp2

1350–1400; Middle English kempe coarse (said of hair); akin to Old English cenep mustache, bristly object, Old Norse kampr mustache, cat's whiskers
Related formskemp·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kempy

Historical Examples

  • "Dead wool" is nearly as bad as "kempy" wool, in which malformation of fibre has occurred.

    The Chemistry of Hat Manufacturing

    Watson Smith

  • While some breeds of sheep yield fine long wool of bright lustre, others have comparatively short-stapled, and "kempy" wool.


    K. J. Adcock

British Dictionary definitions for kempy


  1. a coarse hair or strand of hair, esp one in a fleece that resists dyeing
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Derived Formskempy, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse kampr beard, moustache
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