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lin·​en ˈli-nən How to pronounce linen (audio)
: made of flax
: made of or resembling linen


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: cloth made of flax and noted for its strength, coolness, and luster
: thread or yarn spun from flax
: clothing or household articles made of linen cloth or similar fabric
: 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
Alongside the tablecloths, the offering includes pot holders, linen napkins, and appliqué tea towels influenced by Asafo flags. Maria Geyman, Vogue, 29 Nov. 2023 There’s also a drawer and a closed compartment with an adjustable shelf to stash additional items, like your favorite placemats, linen napkins, and other dining essentials. Paige Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Nov. 2023 The material, which is made of a Tencel, lyocell and linen blend, is drapey but not so much so that your body gets lost in the fabric. Megan Schaltegger, Peoplemag, 26 Nov. 2023 For gifting, lift and remove the parchment paper from the brownies, return them to the 8- by 8-inch baking dish, wrap with a festive linen, and top with a bow. Ivy Odom, Southern Living, 24 Nov. 2023 Sets from this century-old brand frequently top Buy Side sheet rankings, with standout options made from linen, Pima cotton and cotton sateen. Samantha Sharf,, 17 Nov. 2023 Wander the crooked streets, climb up steep stairs to hidden cafes with sweeping views, and drop into shops selling linen clothing and handmade gifts. Devorah Lev-Tov, Condé Nast Traveler, 14 Nov. 2023 The lovely light blue color matched my vibe perfectly, and sleeping in a bed of linen felt like lounging in a breezy Italian resort. Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 13 Nov. 2023 Buy it in either linen for a classic look or periwinkle for a touch of color. Lauren Taylor, Southern Living, 17 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'linen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near linen

Cite this Entry

“Linen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: smooth strong cloth or yarn made from flax
: household articles (as tablecloths or sheets) or clothing (as shirts or underwear) that were once often made of linen
linen adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on linen

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