den·​im | \ˈde-nəm \

Definition of denim 

1a : a firm durable twilled usually cotton fabric woven with colored warp and white filling threads

b : a similar fabric woven in colored stripes

2 denims plural : overalls or trousers usually of blue denim

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Other Words from denim

denimed \-​nəmd \ adjective

Did You Know?

Many fabrics have been named for the places where they were once made. Denim gets its name from Nîmes, a city in France famous for its textiles. But the name came about in an unusual way. The fabric, a heavy serge, was originally called serge de Nîmes, literally, “serge from Nîmes.” The “s” on Nîmes is not pronounced in French, so when the name of the fabric came into English, it was often written serge de Nim and later serge denim. In time, this was shortened to simply denim.

Examples of denim in a Sentence

He's wearing faded denims and cowboy boots.

Recent Examples on the Web

Pratt wore a baseball hat and Beatles T-shirt, while Schwarzenegger sported a denim jacket. Zoe Szathmary, Fox News, "Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger's relationship timeline, from dates to family outings," 12 Sep. 2018 Equipped with her camera, Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey looked poised to capture incredible candid portraits while Sara Foster kept cool in denim cutoffs. Vogue, "Bumble BFF, The Tot, and Peanut Get Ready for Back-to-School in Style," 27 Aug. 2018 Try on the different options, including motorcycle, aviator, and cafe racer styles, and don't forget to throw on a Levi's denim jacket. Allison Bagley, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Austin," 5 Mar. 2018 Celebs are mixing things up at Coachella this year, leaving festival staples like denim cutoffs and floral crowns, behind and experimenting with bolder, edgier styles. Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "Celeb Fashion," 14 Apr. 2014 The headman was a strikingly handsome, muscular man, wearing a beaded antelope hide tied over one shoulder, a pair of denim shorts and tire-tread sandals. WSJ, "Hunting in Tanzania the Way Our Earliest Ancestors Did," 9 Oct. 2018 Filmed on her Instagram stories on Thursday rocking out in the car to Lauren Daigle’s new album, Selena drives around in a pair of short denim shorts, a graphic tee, and rose-colored glasses. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez Wore Denim Shorts and a Selena T-Shirt on Instagram," 21 Sep. 2018 Hailey wore a Versace tee, denim shorts, and high-top white sneakers for the outing. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Were Seen Crying Together and Now We're Crying," 7 Aug. 2018 Ratajkowski styled her hat with a bustier stripe top, Re/Done denim cutoff shorts, and sneakers. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Emily Ratajkowski's Jacquemus Straw Hat Stole the Show in Greece," 29 June 2018

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

1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for denim

French (serge) de Nîmes serge of Nîmes, France

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Dictionary Entries near denim

denier à dieu







Statistics for denim

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for denim

The first known use of denim was in 1695

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More Definitions for denim



English Language Learners Definition of denim

: a strong usually blue cotton cloth that is used especially to make jeans

denims : pants that are made of denim


den·​im | \ˈde-nəm \

Kids Definition of denim

1 : a firm often coarse cotton cloth

2 denims plural : overalls or pants of usually blue denim

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More from Merriam-Webster on denim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with denim

Spanish Central: Translation of denim

Nglish: Translation of denim for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on denim

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


living or existing for a long time

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