noun, often attributive
\ ˈklȯth How to pronounce cloth (audio) \
plural cloths\ ˈklȯt͟hz How to pronounce cloths (audio) , ˈklȯths How to pronounce cloths (audio) \

Definition of cloth

1a : a pliable material made usually by weaving, felting, or knitting natural or synthetic fibers and filaments terry cloth a linen cloth
b : a similar material (as of glass) Woven glass cloth produces a strong laminate.
2 : a piece of cloth adapted for a particular purpose especially : tablecloth
3a : a distinctive dress of a profession or calling
b : the dress of the clergy also : clergy had respect for the cloth

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Synonyms for cloth


fabric, textile

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Examples of cloth in a Sentence

The dress is made out of a beautiful silk cloth. Wipe the surface with a clean dry cloth. He has great respect for the cloth.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The beds are covered by an enormous spread of shade cloth, deflecting harsher sun and rain. Kevin Spear,, "Cuban farmer feeds hunger for better way of life," 10 July 2019 And to prevent jurors from seeing the defendants in shackles, court officials will wrap the defense table with a cloth skirt and remove the jury from the courtroom before the defendants are led in or out. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Richard Grundy's federal drug trial starts Monday. Here's what you need to know.," 7 July 2019 The banner, being sold by Chorley's Auctioneers in Cheltenham, Glos., is oil on thick cloth canvas. Fox News, "Rare 19th century poster depicting real-life 'Dumbo' could be worth big bucks," 2 July 2019 The light from Riis’s flash powder revealed the nooks and crannies of poverty, the chiaroscuro of dirt and bedraggled cloth on skin illuminated by a burst of fire from the gizmo that shocked the subjects being photographed. Marlo Safi, National Review, "A Raw Look at the New ‘Other Half’," 29 June 2019 Hemp’s many champions see thousands of commercial uses for it, from paper to cloth to edible seeds to the therapeutic oil. John Maccormack,, "Hemp rush begins on West Texas farms," 29 June 2019 Then shower off and use an exfoliating mitt or wash cloth to lift all traces of the old self-tan. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "5 Quick and Easy Ways To Remove Sunless Tanner," 21 June 2019 He was born in Florence, Tuscany, on Feb. 12, 1923, the product of an affair his mother had with a cloth salesman. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "Franco Zeffirelli, Oscar-Nominated Director for 'Romeo and Juliet,' Dies at 96," 15 June 2019 In a workshop led by a local artist, learn the history behind thangkas—Tibetan cloth paintings depicting Buddhist symbols. National Geographic, "Nepal High School Community Service," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cloth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cloth

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cloth

Middle English, from Old English clāth cloth, garment; akin to Middle High German kleit garment

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Dictionary Entries near cloth





cloth beam



Statistics for cloth

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cloth

The first known use of cloth was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for cloth



English Language Learners Definition of cloth

: material that is made by weaving together threads of cotton, wool, nylon, etc., and that is used to make clothes, sheets, etc.
: a piece of cloth that is used for a particular purpose (such as cleaning things)
: Christian priests and ministers


\ ˈklȯth How to pronounce cloth (audio) \
plural cloths\ ˈklȯt͟hz , ˈklȯths \

Kids Definition of cloth

1 : a woven or knitted material (as of cotton or nylon)
2 : a piece of cloth for a certain use a polishing cloth

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More from Merriam-Webster on cloth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cloth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cloth

Spanish Central: Translation of cloth

Nglish: Translation of cloth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cloth for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cloth

Comments on cloth

What made you want to look up cloth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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