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

Long banquet tables basked in the California sun, draped in white linen and set with my mother’s blue china. Michelle Slatalla, WSJ, "The Trees In Your Yard: Are They Just Clutter?," 26 Sep. 2018 For instance, the butterfly linen wall art, fur blanket, and fur pillow are from HomeGoods. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "Mississippi College Dorm Decor," 11 Sep. 2018 Boho throws in linens, towels, cooking supplies, a propane grill, and a cooler—all for a total price of $35,000. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Boho-chic, fully converted camper van is $35K," 10 Sep. 2018 Investigators used a drone to search the area and spotted a bed sheet that matched other linens in the family home, along with fresh dirt. Kathleen Foody, The Seattle Times, "Man admits wife’s murder, blames her for daughters’ deaths," 20 Aug. 2018 Centerpieces of white orchids, hydrangeas and roses topped tables draped in taupe linen which were arranged beneath custom chandeliers that felt beachy, not stuffy. Carley K, Harper's BAZAAR, "Samantha & Jonathan Glass' Oceanfront Wedding in Playa Del Carmen," 23 Mar. 2017 Likewise, some of the Queen's bed linens were originally made for Victoria's bed aboard one of the previous royal yachts. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Story Behind the Royal Family's Yacht, Britannia," 30 Sep. 2018 The association also notes that these programs increase the life span of towels and linens, reducing replacement costs. Jill K. Robinson,, "Going green: Can we travel the world without killing the planet?," 21 June 2018 The basement floor is terra cotta tile, and there is a separate laundry room with a mangle for ironing sheets, as well as storage for the quantity of linens needed for seven bedrooms. Joan Walden,, "288 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury," 21 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.

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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

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

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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 \

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

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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).


a nest or breeding place

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