[ sak-klawth, -kloth ]

  1. coarse cloth worn as a sign of mourning or penitence.

Idioms about sackcloth

  1. 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

Other words from sackcloth

  • sackclothed, adjective

Words Nearby sackcloth Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sackcloth in a sentence

  • Why do we don the sackcloth and ashes of the eternal victims?

    Today's Lamentations | Aryeh Cohen | July 29, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • I have put off the robe of peace, and have put upon me the sackcloth of supplication, and I will cry to the most High in my days.

  • Don't delude yourself with the notion that she is sitting down in sackcloth and ashes with her past!

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
  • And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least.

  • She is known to confess, and is suspected of wearing sackcloth.

    Mystic London: | Charles Maurice Davies
  • But she was expiating it in very sackcloth and ashes, and he would add nothing to the burden on her back.

    The Prime Minister | Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for sackcloth


/ (ˈsækˌklɒθ) /

  1. coarse cloth such as sacking

  2. garments made of such cloth, worn formerly to indicate mourning or penitence

  1. 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