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From Old French tissu, past participle of tistre, from Latin texere.



tissue (countable and uncountable, plural tissues)

  1. Thin, woven, gauze-like fabric.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 17, in The China Governess[1]:
      The face which emerged was not reassuring. It was blunt and grey, the nose springing thick and flat from high on the frontal bone of the forehead, whilst his eyes were narrow slits of dark in a tight bandage of tissue. […].
  2. A fine transparent silk material, used for veils, etc.; specifically, cloth interwoven with gold or silver threads, or embossed with figures.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      a robe of tissue, stiff with golden wire
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 5”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      In their glittering tissues bear emblazed / Holy memorials.
  3. A sheet of absorbent paper, especially one that is made to be used as tissue paper, toilet paper or a handkerchief.
  4. Absorbent paper as material.
  5. (biology) A group of cells similar in origin that function together to do a specific job.
  6. Web; texture; complicated fabrication; connected series.
    a tissue of forgeries, or of lies
    • (Can we date this quote by A. J. Balfour and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      unwilling to leave the dry bones of Agnosticism wholly unclothed with any living tissue of religious emotion


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tissue (third-person singular simple present tissues, present participle tissuing, simple past and past participle tissued)

  1. To form tissue of; to interweave.
    • (Can we date this quote by Francis Bacon and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Covered with cloth of gold tissued upon blue.