lin·en | \ˈli-nən \

Definition of linen 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : made of flax

2 : made of or resembling linen



Definition of linen (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : cloth made of flax and noted for its strength, coolness, and luster

b : thread or yarn spun from flax

2 : clothing or household articles made of linen cloth or similar fabric

3 : paper made from linen fibers or with a linen finish

Examples of linen in a Sentence


She washes the linen every week.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, a library garnished with a Moroccan daybed and linen curtains only adds to the sleepy beachfront feels. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Chic beach bungalow in Montauk is perfect for a summer weekend," 2 July 2018 Armor Lux cotton-linen Breton shirt, $99 at Portland Dry Goods, Hayley Phelan, New York Times, "How to Be a Poolside Pinup," 27 June 2018 The direct-to-consumer company specializes in affordable luxury cotton linens that can work for both warm sleepers and cold ones. Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "This popular luxury linen brand rarely goes on sale -- until now," 26 Apr. 2018 Her made-in-Los Angeles silk-linen blend jumpsuit in Mineral is the perfect summer uniform. Sophia Markoulakis, San Francisco Chronicle, "Five fashionable — and functional — takes on the jumpsuit," 15 Mar. 2018 Stratton Stripe cotton-linen blend in yellow/slate, Hill Brown for Clarence House. Mimi Read, House Beautiful, "This Family-Friendly Waterfront Home Is Brimming with Nostalgia," 26 Feb. 2018 Lisa Corti, next to Caffe Cibreo on the eastern end of the market square, has beautiful cotton linens handprinted using Indian block-printing methods in a colorful palette. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "50+ Secret Things to Do in Italy," 6 Feb. 2018 My mother has an eye for linens and lace, crystal and silver. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 The retailer, which has been waging a fierce battle with e-commerce giant Amazon, began ramping up its online presentation of furniture, linens and other items with sleeker pictures and styles in February. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, "Walmart offers a 3D tour to get shoppers to look, click and buy," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'linen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of linen


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for linen


Middle English, from Old English līnen, from līn flax, from Latin linum flax; akin to Greek linon flax, thread

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about linen

Phrases Related to linen

bed linen(s)

Statistics for linen

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for linen

The first known use of linen was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for linen



English Language Learners Definition of linen

: a smooth, strong cloth made from flax

: tablecloths, sheets, etc., made of linen or a similar cloth


lin·en | \ˈli-nən \

Kids Definition of linen

1 : smooth strong cloth or yarn made from flax

2 : household articles (as tablecloths or sheets) or clothing that were once often made of linen

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on linen

Spanish Central: Translation of linen

Nglish: Translation of linen for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on linen

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


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!