sackcloth

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English sakcloth, sekcloth, sekclath, sekklath, equivalent to sack +‎ cloth.

Noun[edit]

sackcloth (countable and uncountable, plural sackcloths)

  1. A coarse hessian style of cloth used to make sacks.
  2. (usually with “and ashes”, also figuratively) Garments worn as an act of penance.
    Synonyms: hairshirt, cilice
    After he realised the gravity of his crime he spent some time wearing sackcloth and ashes.

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