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

Iman also gets her denim fix through roomy jackets—and by imagining her child’s future wardrobe. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Chanel Iman on the Perfect Pregnancy Jeans," 15 May 2018 Apparently there are very strict rules about wearing denim to the parade, clearly not approved by the Queen. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Why Does the Queen Have Two Birthdays?," 28 May 2018 Big Freedia strode onto the Congo Square stage at Jazz Fest Saturday (April 28) afternoon in a glittering golden T-shirt, a necklace befitting Nefertiti, black denim shorts split alluringly up the thigh, and glitter shoes. Doug Maccash,, "Big Freedia conducts a church choir at Jazz Fest 2018," 28 Apr. 2018 In honor of International Denim Day, people wore denim to the event to draw awareness to common misconceptions about victims. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gymnast Aly Raisman speaks about abuse at the Waukesha Women's Center annual luncheon," 25 Apr. 2018 Feel free to wear white denim early and (semi) often. India-jewel Jackson, Esquire, "9 Simple Ways to Nail Spring Style," 2 May 2016 Best Prime Day loungewear • Mae Scoop-Neck Thong Bodysuit: The perfect basic for summer, pair this versatile cotton bodysuit with high-waist shorts, wide-legged denim, or a skirt—the options are endless. Susan Brickell,, "The Bra and Underwear Sale You Won't Want to Miss on Amazon Tomorrow," 12 July 2018 AG AG's big semi-annual sale includes denim, shorts, tops, and more at up to 40 percent off through the 4th of July holiday. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "All the 4th of July Sales Worth Shopping This Year," 3 July 2018 These western faves add just the right amount of toughness to feminine dresses or an all-denim look. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "10 Fall Style Essential Pieces Every Girl Needs In Her Closet," 22 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

10 Oct 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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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).


one that holds something together

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