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clothes·​line ˈklōz-ˌlīn How to pronounce clothesline (audio)
 also  ˈklōt͟hz-
: a line (as of cord) on which clothes may be hung to dry


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clotheslined; clotheslining; clotheslines

transitive verb

: to knock down (someone, such as a football player) by catching by the neck with an outstretched arm

Examples of clothesline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Green jackets used by the cleaning crews hang from porches and clotheslines, and residents leave hard hats with sanitation-company logos outside their doors. Hannah Dreier Meridith Kohut, New York Times, 18 Sep. 2023 The enormous shadows thrown by our bodies are us but not us, like silhouettes of women moving behind white sheets on a clothesline. Ansel Elkins, The Atlantic, 17 Sep. 2023 Cut a clothesline into pieces to fit your design, and singe the ends of each piece to prevent fraying. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Aug. 2023 In general, most sheets should be washed in cool or lukewarm water and then tumble dried on low or hung outside on a clothesline to dry. Barbara Bellesi Zito, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Aug. 2023 Freeze said it himself during SEC Media Days: Ashford might have too much talent to hang on the clothesline during games. Ainslie Lee |, al, 17 Aug. 2023 The family remained in the Austrian refugee camp for four years, living in barracks with many other German ethnic families, each of their living quarters separated only by cardboard folded over a clothesline. Kylie Martin, Detroit Free Press, 14 July 2023 George Kittle got involved and delivered a great clothesline to The Miz. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 1 Apr. 2023 The train trundles out of downtown and backward in time, piercing skyscrapers shrinking to concrete apartment blocks to single homes with vegetable gardens and bedsheets on clotheslines. Adam Erace, Travel + Leisure, 25 July 2023
Kevin McHale famously clotheslined Kurt Rambis in Game 4 of the 1984 Finals and was called for a common foul. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, 19 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clothesline.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1830, in the meaning defined above


1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of clothesline was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near clothesline

Cite this Entry

“Clothesline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a line (as of cord) on which clothes may be hung to dry
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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