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 Dirty masks are clipped to rows of clothesline strung across the UVC room. Rebecca Richards-kortum, The Conversation, "‘Frugal design’ brings medical innovations to communities that lack resources during the pandemic," 29 Mar. 2021 The clothesline sliced into her neck, and Stone slipped through the stirrups. Jennifer Zhan, Vulture, "9 Times Sharon Stone Looked Death in the Eyes," 30 Mar. 2021 Using its autonomous flying features, the Skydio was able to get up close to the building by dodging obstacles - a clothesline, a garden umbrella - and peer through the windows. Thomas Brewster, Forbes, "Drones With 'Most Advanced AI Ever' Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department," 3 Mar. 2021 Carmen, a migrant fleeing violence in El Salvador, hangs her laundry to dry on a clothesline. Time, "Pregnant Asylum-Seekers Needed Help at the Border. Inside the Makeshift Clinic That Provided Care—and Community," 3 Mar. 2021 Before the bell could ring, Warrior attacked Andre from behind with a clothesline. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "A legendary 1989 WWF match in Anchorage is one of the last holy grails in pro wrestling," 28 Dec. 2020 Nylon Marine rope, cotton clothesline, hay bale twine, or strips of deer hide will work. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "The Ultimate Guide to Tanning Wild Game Pelts and Hides," 24 Dec. 2020 On May 24, photographer Al Bello’s sister called to say her in-laws would be visiting in Wantagh, N.Y., and wanted to hug everyone; a drop cloth hung from a clothesline would serve as a barrier. Time, "TIME's Top 10 Photos of 2020," 23 Dec. 2020 The family set up an elaborate backyard system with a plastic dropcloth strung over a clothesline so everyone could safely hug. The New York Times, New York Times, "A Year Like No Other," 8 Dec. 2020

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

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clothesline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for clothesline



English Language Learners Definition of clothesline

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

Comments on clothesline

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