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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English cloth, clath, from Old English clāþ ‎(cloth, clothes, covering, sail), from Proto-Germanic *klaiþą ‎(garment), from Proto-Indo-European *gleyt- ‎(to cling to, cleave, stick). Cognate with Scots clath ‎(cloth), North Frisian klaid ‎(dress, garment), Saterland Frisian Klood ‎(dress, apparel), West Frisian kleed ‎(cloth, article of clothing), Dutch kleed ‎(robe, dress), Low German kleed ‎(dress, garment), German Kleid ‎(gown, dress), Danish klæde ‎(cloth, dress), Swedish kläde ‎(cloth), Icelandic klæði ‎(cloth, dressing), Old English clīþan ‎(to adhere, stick). Compare Albanian ngjit ‎(to stick, attach, glue).



cloth ‎(plural cloths or clothes)

  1. (uncountable) A woven fabric such as used in dressing, decorating, cleaning or other practical use.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Lisson Grove Mystery[1]:
      “H'm !” he said, “so, so—it is a tragedy in a prologue and three acts. I am going down this afternoon to see the curtain fall for the third time on what [...] will prove a good burlesque ; but it all began dramatically enough. It was last Saturday […] that two boys, playing in the little spinney just outside Wembley Park Station, came across three large parcels done up in American cloth. […]”
  2. A piece of cloth used for a particular purpose.
  3. A form of attire that represents a particular profession.
  4. (in idioms) Priesthood, clergy.


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Related terms[edit]


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