lin·​en | \ ˈli-nən How to pronounce linen (audio) \

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

Noun She washes the linen every week.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Certain types of polyester, cotton, linen, cashmere, acrylic, and nylon clothes are dry clean only. Serenity Gibbons, Forbes, 18 June 2021 And then there’s linen, which is really the best fiber to wear on the hottest of days. Laura Lajiness, Vogue, 15 June 2021 Complete with a chest pocket, a curved hem and long sleeves, this top is the perfect transitional piece, and its linen-and-rayon construction is seamless. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, 25 Sep. 2020 Flex your outdoor entertaining skills this summer by investing in some pretty reusable melamine dinnerware, sophisticated linen napkins, fun flatware, and vibe-y candle holders. Kelsey Clark, Glamour, 3 June 2021 The two best examples of this are linen napkins and napkin rings which automatically make any table look more sophisticated. Amanda Lauren, Forbes, 23 May 2021 On the second floor, this added a large owners suite with his and her closets and a linen closet and a lavish new owners’ bath. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 22 May 2021 Repurpose a coat closet as a pantry, for example, or use a linen closet to store toys. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 May 2021 The linen set includes a duvet cover and matching sham set made in Portugal from European flax. NBC News, 9 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for linen

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Linen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce linen (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on linen

Nglish: Translation of linen for Spanish Speakers

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


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