[sam-ahyt, sey-mahyt]


a heavy silk fabric, sometimes interwoven with gold, worn in the Middle Ages.

Origin of samite

1300–50; Middle English samit < Old French < Medieval Latin examitium, samitium < Greek hexámiton, neuter of hexámitos having six threads. See hexa-, mitosis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for samite

thread, fiber, taffeta, tulle, mantua, samite, tussore, tussah, pongee, sendal

Examples from the Web for samite

Historical Examples of samite

  • Samite and Sendal are the two generally named in our English romances.

    Parzival (vol. 1 of 2)

    Wolfram von Eschenback

  • It's a word that always thrills me, "samite, mystic, wonderful."

    Life on the Stage

    Clara Morris

  • The palace was beautifully decorated with hangings of purple and samite.

    National Epics

    Kate Milner Rabb

  • Samite was a silk material, of which no more is known than that it was very expensive, and had a glossy sheen, like satin.

  • Doucebelle, watching her with deep yet concealed interest, fancied she saw tears glistening on the samite.

    Earl Hubert's Daughter

    Emily Sarah Holt

British Dictionary definitions for samite



a heavy fabric of silk, often woven with gold or silver threads, used in the Middle Ages for clothing

Word Origin for samite

C13: from Old French samit, from Medieval Latin examitum, from Greek hexamiton, from hexamitos having six threads, from hex six + mitos a thread
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

Word Origin and History for samite

type of rich silk cloth, c.1300, from Old French samit, from Medieval Latin samitum, examitum, from Medieval Greek hexamiton (source of Old Church Slavonic oksamitu, Russian aksamit "velvet"), noun use of neuter of Greek adjective hexamitos "six-threaded," from hex "six" (see six) + mitos "warp thread" (see mitre (n.)). The reason it was called this is variously explained. Obsolete c.1600; revived by Tennyson. German Sammet "velvet" is from French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper