[ woo s-tid, wur-stid ]
/ ˈwʊs tɪd, ˈwɜr stɪd /


firmly twisted yarn or thread spun from combed, stapled wool fibers of the same length, for weaving, knitting, etc.Compare woolen.
wool cloth woven from such yarns, having a hard, smooth surface and no nap.


consisting or made of worsted.

Nearby words

  1. worshipper,
  2. worssett,
  3. worst,
  4. worst case,
  5. worst-case,
  6. wort,
  7. worth,
  8. worth one's salt,
  9. worth one's weight in gold,
  10. worth one's while

Origin of worsted

1250–1300; Middle English worsted(e), special use of Worstede Worstead (Old English Wurthestede), name of parish in Norfolk, England, where the cloth was made

Related formshalf-worst·ed, adjective

Origin of worst

before 900; Middle English worste (adj., adv., and noun), Old English wur(re)sta, wyr(re)st, wer(re)sta (adj. and adv.); cognate with Old Norse verstr; see worse, -est1

Can be confusedworst wurst

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for worsted

British Dictionary definitions for worsted


/ (ˈwʊstɪd) /


a closely twisted yarn or thread made from combed long-staple wool
a fabric made from this, with a hard smooth close-textured surface and no nap
(modifier) made of this yarn or fabrica worsted suit

Word Origin for worsted

C13: named after Worstead, a district in Norfolk

Word Origin for worst

Old English wierrest; related to Old Frisian wersta, Old Saxon, Old High German wirsisto, Old Norse verstr

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 worsted
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with worsted


see at worst; get (have) the worst of it; if worst comes to worst; in the worst way. Also see under worse.

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