sack·​cloth | \ ˈsa(k)-ˌklȯth How to pronounce sackcloth (audio) \

Definition of sackcloth

1 : a coarse cloth of goat or camel's hair or of flax, hemp, or cotton
2 : a garment of sackcloth worn as a sign of mourning or penitence

Examples of sackcloth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The mask had been the most joylessly visible way of signaling one’s virtue since sackcloth and ashes. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 17 May 2021 Image Once there was a man who wore the finest silks in Italy, but traded them all for sackcloth. Jason Farago, New York Times, 9 May 2018 One of the dancers has a suppurating wound wrapped in sackcloth. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, 3 May 2018 Like in medieval times when people wore sackcloth and ashes, the ash mark is a call to repentance and preparation in the season leading up to Easter, which will be on April 16 for Christians around the world. Greg Garrison,, 14 Feb. 2018 The ashes also represent penance — sackcloth and ashes. The Enquirer,, 14 Feb. 2018 And there will still be someone who feels a need to leave a comment saying that the sackcloth is decadent. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, 8 Feb. 2018 These comments show people will not be happy until women are wearing sackcloth and refusing any sustenance but the raindrops that fall into their open mouths. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, 8 Feb. 2018 Theron dresses up as an MI6 killer-chick in Atomic Blonde, and Cotillard wears sackcloth couture portraying another hard-luck dame under the thumb of the patriarchy, in From the Land of the Moon. Armond White, National Review, 28 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sackcloth.' 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 sackcloth

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sackcloth

sack entry 1

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Time Traveler for sackcloth

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The first known use of sackcloth was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sackcloth



sack cloud

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Cite this Entry

“Sackcloth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of sackcloth

: rough cloth that is used for making sacks

More from Merriam-Webster on sackcloth

Nglish: Translation of sackcloth for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sackcloth


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