[ lin-zee-wool-zee ]

noun,plural lin·sey-wool·seys.
  1. a coarse fabric woven from linen warp, or sometimes cotton, and coarse wool filling.

  2. a garment made from this.

  1. Archaic. any mixture that is incongruous or of poor quality; jumble: That last speech was a linsey-woolsey of stale platitudes.

Origin of linsey-woolsey

1425–75; late Middle English lynsy wolsye literally, linen cloth, wool cloth, equivalent to lyn (Old English līn;see linen) + -sy, variant of say cloth (<Old French saie; akin to Medieval Latin sagia kind of weave, Latin sagum cloak) + wolwool + -sye, variant of say

Words Nearby linsey-woolsey Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use linsey-woolsey in a sentence

  • The women had on sun-bonnets; and some had linsey-woolsey frocks, some gingham ones, and a few of the young ones had on calico.

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Complete | Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • She was dressed in linsey-woolsey, and the overalls of the three sons were also home-spun.

    Hunters Out of Space | Joseph Everidge Kelleam
  • The goods were of the home-made quality, known as "linsey-woolsey," a material worn by farmers almost universally in those days.

    Watch Yourself Go By | Al. G. Field
  • His wife wore a calico dress for company, while the neighbor wives wore homespun linsey-woolsey.

  • How he got at my birth behind my tangled mat of hair and wringing linsey-woolsey I know not to this day.

    Richard Carvel, Complete | Winston Churchill

British Dictionary definitions for linsey-woolsey


/ (ˈlɪnzɪˈwʊlzɪ) /

  1. a thin rough fabric of linen warp and coarse wool or cotton filling

  2. a strange nonsensical mixture or confusion

Origin of linsey-woolsey

C15: probably from Lindsey, Suffolk village where the fabric was first made + wool (with rhyming suffix -sey)

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