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


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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 Connecticut is selling 202,500 reusable cloth masks, leftovers from a gift of 2 million face coverings procured by the federal government from the maker of Hanes underwear. Mark Pazniokas,, 14 Oct. 2021 Sara Morabito and her husband, Chris Knowles, arrived as 1950s sci-fi astronauts, donning cloth masks under their space helmets. New York Times, 8 Oct. 2021 The plan also calls for spending on supplies to help keep schools safer, such as personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, cloth masks and bleach wipes. Brendan Farrington,, 7 Oct. 2021 Some cloth masks—including those outfitted with coffee filters—have this problem. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 30 Sep. 2021 Researchers observed a 5% reduction in infections among those who wore cloth masks. Amanda Michelle Gomez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 24 Sep. 2021 Researchers observed a 5% reduction in infections among those who wore cloth masks. Amanda Michelle Gomez, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Sep. 2021 Researchers observed a 5% reduction in infections among those who wore cloth masks. Amanda Michelle Gomez, Quartz, 22 Sep. 2021 Mask use has declined significantly, and most people are still using cloth masks, which have shown to be much less effective than surgical and N95 masks. Bloomberg News, oregonlive, 21 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for cloth

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near cloth



cloth beam

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Statistics for cloth

Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cloth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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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 : clergy


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on cloth

Nglish: Translation of cloth for Spanish Speakers

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


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