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From Middle English clothing, clathing, clething (whence also the dialectal English term cleading), equivalent to clothe +‎ -ing. Cognate with Scots cleeding, cleiding, cleading (clothing), Dutch kleding (clothing), German Kleidung (clothing), Danish klædning (clothing, dress, attire), Swedish klädning (dress). Compare also cladding.




  1. present participle of clothe


A baby wearing many items of winter clothing: headband, cap, fur-lined coat, shawl and sweater

clothing (countable and uncountable, plural clothings)

  1. Any of a wide variety of articles, usually made of fabrics, animal hair, animal skin, or some combination thereof, used to cover the human body for warmth, to preserve modesty, or for fashion.
    • Milton
      From others he shall stand in need of nothing, / Yet on his brothers shall depend for clothing.
  2. An act or instance of putting clothes on.
    The clothing and unclothing of the idols was of special significance.
  3. (obsolete) The art or process of making cloth.
    • Ray
      Instructing [refugees] in the art of clothing.
  4. A covering of non-conducting material on the outside of a boiler, or steam chamber, to prevent radiation of heat.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)

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