sel·​vage ˈsel-vij How to pronounce selvage (audio)
variants or selvedge
: the edge on either side of a woven or flat-knitted fabric so finished as to prevent raveling
specifically : a narrow border often of different or heavier threads than the fabric and sometimes in a different weave
: an edge (as of fabric or paper) meant to be cut off and discarded
: an outer or peripheral part : border, edge
selvaged adjective
or selvedged

Examples of selvage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Per the name, the style is pulled from the 1950s and recreated in Japan from premium selvage denim. Nicola Fumo, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 Slim selvage jeans are made with the utmost care. Thomas Hindle, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Sep. 2022 Blue floral wallpaper from Sandberg immerses visitors in saturated color, along with a graphic checkerboard lambswool throw from Wallace Sewell and a custom selvage Japanese denim bedspread designed by Katch Interiors. Laura Raskin, ELLE Decor, 10 Aug. 2022 Cut Drapery Pieces Lay out your fabric panels and trim the selvage edges. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Jan. 2023 According to the postal service, the margin paper, or selvage, attached to the stamp sheet will include a photo taken of Lewis in 1963 by photographer Steve Schapiro in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Marc Ramirez, USA TODAY, 14 Dec. 2022 The choices are many, although a straight leg and dark indigo selvage denim is a classic (no jeggings, saggers or wackadoodle washes, please). New York Times, 24 June 2022 Long Haul Jacket is for the selvage denim devotees. Thomas Hindle, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 May 2022 The same goes for their Sacramento textile mill, Huston Textiles, the last remaining maker of selvage fabrics in the U.S. Emily Farra, Vogue, 1 Sep. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'selvage.' 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 selfegge, selvage, from self self + egge edge (after Middle Dutch selfegghe)

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of selvage was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near selvage

Cite this Entry

“Selvage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants or selvedge
: an edge of cloth so woven that it will not ravel

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