clothes·​line | \ ˈklōz-ˌlīn How to pronounce clothesline (audio) also ˈklōt͟hz- \

Definition of clothesline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a line (as of cord) on which clothes may be hung to dry


clotheslined; clotheslining; clotheslines

Definition of clothesline (Entry 2 of 2)

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: Noun Bring the rug outside and hang it over a fence or clothesline. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "How to Clean a Rug So It Lasts Longer," 13 Apr. 2020 Drying garments strung from ubiquitous clotheslines flutter in the breeze. Los Angeles Times, "Aid workers seek to avoid coronavirus outbreak at Matamoros migrant camp," 5 Apr. 2020 As the humid jumble of roaring motorcycles and bubble-tea shops vanishes behind me, knotted electrical wires make way for betel nut plantations and clotheslines in small-town backyards that straddle railroad tracks first built for loggers. Chris Schalkx, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Road Trip Through Taiwan's Hot Springs and Tea Plantations," 7 Feb. 2020 Women hang laundry on clotheslines strung up in a vast olive grove that climbs up a hillside. Patrick Strickland, The New York Review of Books, "After the EU Turned Greece into a Refugee Warehouse, a Backlash," 4 Mar. 2020 The tick, tick, tick of the clothesline hitting the asphalt parking lot called out to two dozen women who started stretching, rotating hula hoops on their hips and skipping to songs old and new. Nara Schoenberg,, "‘The joy never left’: Thousands of women nationwide are rediscovering double Dutch jump rope thanks to a Homewood mom’s Facebook post," 24 Sep. 2019 Then, take the blanket out to hang dry on a drying rack or clothesline. Natalie Schumann, Country Living, "Here's How To Wash an Electric Blanket," 28 Jan. 2020 Raja Bell and Kobe Bryant will forever be linked because of Bell's clothesline of Bryant in the 2006 NBA playoffs. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Raja Bell opens up on rivalry with Kobe Bryant: 'He was a true champion'," 27 Jan. 2020 Designed for families to experience together, this hit show from Filament Theatre uses boxes, blankets, clotheslines and more to make new worlds. Web Behrens,, "40 things to do in the Chicago area with the kids in December," 24 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clothesline.' 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 clothesline


1830, in the meaning defined above


1964, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for clothesline

Time Traveler

The first known use of clothesline was in 1830

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Statistics for clothesline

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clothesline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for clothesline


How to pronounce clothesline (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of clothesline

: a piece of rope or a wire that people hang wet clothes on to dry

More from Merriam-Webster on clothesline

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clothesline

Spanish Central: Translation of clothesline

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