Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:
worsted yarn.

Etymology 1[edit]

Inherited from Middle English worstede, worsted, from Worstede (now Worstead; Old English *Wurϸestede), a town in Norfolk, England.


  • (UK) enPR: wo͝osʹtĭd, IPA(key): /ˈwʊs.tɪd/
  • (US): enPR: wo͝osʹtĭd, wûrstʹĭd, IPA(key): /ˈwʊs.tɪd/, /ˈwɝ.stɪd/


worsted (countable and uncountable, plural worsteds)

  1. (textiles) Yarn made from long strands of wool.
    • 1761, Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Volume III, Chapter 29,[1]
      An old set-stitched chair, valanced and fringed around with party-coloured worsted bobs, stood at the bed’s head opposite to the side where my father’s head reclined.
    • 1871, Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, Chapter 1:[2]
      [] the kitten had been having a grand game of romps with the ball of worsted Alice had been trying to wind up, and had been rolling it up and down till it had all come undone again []
    • 1872, George Eliot [pseudonym; Mary Ann Evans], chapter LVII, in Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, volume III, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 948783829, book VI (The Widow and the Wife), page 266:
      "Yes, young people are usually blind to everything but their own wishes, and seldom imagine how much those wishes cost others," said Mrs Garth. She did not mean to go beyond this salutary general doctrine, and threw her indignation into a needless unwinding of her worsted, knitting her brow at it with a grand air.
    • 1926, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Land of Mist[3]:
      Finally he took a ball of worsted and tied strings of it across the back passage and across the opposite door.
  2. The fine, smooth fabric made from such wool yarn.
    • 1838, Boz [pseudonym; Charles Dickens], chapter 4, in Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy’s Progress. [], volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), London: Richard Bentley, [], OCLC 558204586:
      [...] the undertaker’s wife opened a side door, and pushed Oliver down a steep flight of stairs into a stone cell, damp and dark: forming the ante-room to the coal-cellar, and denominated ‘kitchen’; wherein sat a slatternly girl, in shoes down at heel, and blue worsted stockings very much out of repair.
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, [], OCLC 1042815524, part I:
      He had tied a bit of white worsted round his neck -- Why? Where did he get it? Was it a badge -- an ornament -- a charm -- a propitiatory act? Was there any idea at all connected with it?

Etymology 2[edit]

Participle adjective of the verb worst.




  1. simple past tense and past participle of worst


worsted (comparative more worsted, superlative most worsted)

  1. Defeated, overcome.
    The army was worsted in battle.


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of worstede