[ vel-vit ]
See synonyms for velvet on
  1. a fabric of silk, nylon, acetate, rayon, etc., sometimes having a cotton backing, with a thick, soft pile formed of loops of the warp thread either cut at the outer end or left uncut.

  2. something likened to the fabric velvet, as in softness or texture: the velvet of her touch; the velvet of the lawn.

  1. the soft, deciduous covering of a growing antler.

  2. Informal. a very pleasant, luxurious, desirable situation.

  3. Informal.

    • money gained through gambling; winnings.

    • clear gain or profit, especially when more than anticipated.

  1. Also vel·vet·ed. made of velvet or covered with velvet.

  2. Also vel·vet·like . resembling or suggesting velvet; smooth; soft; velvety: a velvet night; a cat's velvet fur.

Origin of velvet

1275–1325; Middle English velvet, veluet, veluwet<Old French veluotte, equivalent to velu (<Medieval Latin vil(l)ūtus;Latin vill(us) shaggy nap (cf. villus) + Late Latin -ūtus for Latin -ātus-ate1) + -otte noun suffix

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

How to use velvet in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for velvet


/ (ˈvɛlvɪt) /

    • a fabric of silk, cotton, nylon, etc, with a thick close soft usually lustrous pile

    • (as modifier): velvet curtains

  1. anything with a smooth soft surface

    • smoothness; softness

    • (as modifier): velvet skin; a velvet night

  1. the furry covering of the newly formed antlers of a deer

  2. slang, mainly US

    • gambling or speculative winnings

    • a gain, esp when unexpectedly high

  3. velvet glove gentleness or caution, often concealing strength or determination (esp in the phrase an iron fist or hand in a velvet glove)

Origin of velvet

C14: veluet, from Old French veluotte, from velu hairy, from Vulgar Latin villutus (unattested), from Latin villus shaggy hair

Derived forms of velvet

  • velvet-like, adjective
  • velvety, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with velvet


see under iron hand.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.