sack·​cloth ˈsa(k)-ˌklȯth How to pronounce sackcloth (audio)
: a coarse cloth of goat or camel's hair or of flax, hemp, or cotton
: a garment of sackcloth worn as a sign of mourning or penitence

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The Dodgers have been on a pretty good hot streak the last couple of weeks, but that doesn’t stop some fans from gnashing their teeth and wearing sackcloth and ashes after each loss. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2022 One is Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, a Roma artist who has filled the Polish pavilion with an enveloping 12-part tapestry whose imagery of Romani migration and everyday life coheres through countless scraps of stitched toile, paisley, lace and sackcloth. Jason Farago, New York Times, 21 Apr. 2022 Aesthetic moms, the memes say, ignore their kid’s request for a Paw Patrol cake and instead opt for an uniced bake featuring twigs, leaves, and sackcloth banners. Amelia Tait, Wired, 26 Nov. 2021 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 See More

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.

Word History


sack entry 1

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sackcloth

Cite this Entry

“Sackcloth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



sack·​cloth ˈsak-ˌ(k)lȯth How to pronounce sackcloth (audio)
: rough cloth for sacks
: a garment of sackcloth worn as a sign of sorrow

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