• synonyms


or sel·vedge

See more synonyms for selvage on Thesaurus.com
  1. the edge of woven fabric finished so as to prevent raveling, often in a narrow tape effect, different from the body of the fabric.
  2. any similar strip or part of surplus material, as at the side of wallpaper.
  3. Also called margin. Philately. the surplus paper or margin around a sheet of stamps: The number of the plate block appears in the selvage.
  4. a plate or surface through which a bolt of a lock passes.
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Origin of selvage

1425–75; late Middle English, respelling of self + edge, modeled on Middle Dutch selfegghe (Dutch zelfegge)
Related formssel·vaged, adjective
Can be confusedsalvage selvage
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for selvage

Historical Examples

  • Grifone saw the shape of her in it, saw her hand at the selvage.

    Little Novels of Italy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • If the lock has a selvage, gain out the edge of the door or drawer to receive it.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • But lend me the needle, and I'll see what I can do with the selvage.

  • The selvage is more closely woven and will draw or pucker in laundrying.

    Textiles and Clothing

    Kate Heintz Watson

  • Corded silks are woven with a cord running from selvage to selvage.

    Textiles and Clothing

    Kate Heintz Watson

British Dictionary definitions for selvage



  1. the finished nonfraying edge of a length of woven fabric
  2. a similar strip of material allowed in fabricating a metal or plastic article, used esp for handling components during manufacture
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Derived Formsselvaged, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from self + edge; related to Dutch selfegghe, German Selbende
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 selvage


mid-15c., "edge of web or cloth so finished as to prevent raveling," apparently literally "its own edge," a corruption of self + edge (n.); on analogy of Middle Flemish selvegge (cf. also Low German sulfegge; Dutch zelfkant, from kant "border;" Middle High German selbende, German Selbend, literally "self-end").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper