- fabric woven from flax yarns.
- Often linens. bedding, tablecloths, shirts, etc., made of linen cloth or a more common substitute, as cotton.
- yarn made of flax fiber.
- thread made of flax yarns.
- made of linen: a linen jacket.
- wash one's dirty linen in public, to discuss in public one's private scandals, disagreements, or difficulties.
Origin of linen
Examples from the Web for underlinen
It was full of a jumble of newspapers, books, old clothes and underlinen, in bundles.L'Assommoir
Now it seems to me that we could not do better than make her a set of underlinen.Penelope and the Others
No one seemed to possess a nightgown; all slept in their underlinen.Glimpses into the Abyss
To every man new clothes and underlinen were issued; and we all had to have a bath!With a Reservist in France
F. A. Bolwell
The gombeenwoman Eliza Tudor had underlinen enough to vie with her of Sheba.Ulysses
- underclothes, esp when made of linen
- a hard-wearing fabric woven from the spun fibres of flax
- (as modifier)a linen tablecloth
- yarn or thread spun from flax fibre
- clothes, sheets, tablecloths, etc, made from linen cloth or from a substitute such as cotton
- See linen paper
Word Origin and History for underlinen
"cloth from woven flax," early 14c.; earlier as an adjective, "made of flax" (c.1200), from Old English linin (adj.) "made of flax," from lin "flax, linen thread, cloth," from West Germanic *linam (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old High German lin "flax, linen," German Leinen "linen," Gothic lein "linen cloth"), probably an early borrowing from Latin linum "flax, linen," which, along with Greek linon is from a non-IE language.
Idioms and Phrases with underlinen
see wash one's dirty linen in public.