[ pur-kuh-leen ]
/ ˌpɜr kəˈlin /
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a fine, lightweight cotton fabric, usually finished with a gloss and dyed in one color, used especially for linings.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of percaline

From French, dating back to 1855–60; see origin at percale, -ine2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for percaline

  • Percaline is used chiefly for feminine wearing apparel, principally for linings, petticoats, etc.

    Textiles|William H. Dooley
  • You needn't tease me about that, for you know as well as anything that I meant percaline.

    Cricket at the Seashore|Elizabeth Westyn Timlow
  • Cover the outside with green percaline and finish the top with sprigs of holly and a bow of red and green ribbon.

    Bright Ideas for Entertaining|Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott
  • The frame was covered with a kind of cloth called “percaline.”

    The Scientific American Boy|A. Russell (Alexander Russell) Bond

British Dictionary definitions for percaline

/ (ˈpɜːkəˌliːn, -lɪn) /


a fine light cotton fabric, used esp for linings

Word Origin for percaline

C19: from French; see percale
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