ter·​ry | \ ˈter-ē How to pronounce terry (audio) , ˈte-rē\
plural terries

Definition of terry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the loop forming the pile in uncut pile fabrics
2 : an absorbent fabric with such loops

called also terry cloth


biographical name
Ter·​ry | \ ˈter-ē How to pronounce Terry (audio) \

Definition of Terry (Entry 2 of 2)

(Alice) Ellen 1847–1928 English actress

Examples of terry in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By definition, tea towels are only made of linen or cotton, whereas dish towels can also be made of terry cloth. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "What Is a Tea Towel, Anyway? Different Ways to Use This Not-so-Basic Kitchen Cloth," 25 July 2019 Her tailored minidress from BASK is made of Turkish terry velour, and can also be worn as a chic double-breasted blazer. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "You Can Rent Ali Larter's Blazer-Inspired Cover-Up for $55," 2 July 2019 First popularized as clothing in the 1960s and ’70s, terry was worn in the form of polos and leisure suits by groovy suburban teens and their fathers. Steve Garbarino, WSJ, "Polo Shirts Are Boring: Try This Bond-Approved Alternative," 17 May 2019 Her transparent anorak with orange draw strings gave a sporty touch to an orange terry cloth dress with an asymmetrical hemline. Washington Post, "Prada redefines youthful elegance with psychedelic flair," 17 June 2018 The woman pulled off her terry-cloth gown and dropped it on the bed. Adam O’fallon Price, Harper's magazine, "The Maid’s Story," 10 June 2019 Spring 2019 includes pieces like a navy terry-cloth sweatshirt, colorful striped socks, and bucket hats, all emblazoned with the red, green, and blue logo, of course. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This 1980s-Era Sportswear Label Is the Nautica of Denmark and It’s Making a Major Comeback," 15 May 2019 Standouts include a fantastic flamingo pink cropped fur Gucci chubbie, an acid green terry cloth polo, a gorgeous python skin jacket, and a scintillating leopard print wrap top and skirt set. Monica Kim, Vogue, "James Veloria Christens JV Retreat—A Red Hot Vintage Playroom—With a ’90s Tom Ford Sale," 15 Nov. 2018 Tip: Work on a flat surface covered in terry cloth, which won't cling to the yarn. Madison Alcedo, Country Living, "5 Easy DIY Tutorials for That Viral Chunky Knit Blanket," 12 Dec. 2018

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


1784, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for terry


perhaps modification of French tiré, past participle of tirer to draw

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Statistics for terry

Last Updated

8 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for terry

The first known use of terry was in 1784

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More from Merriam-Webster on terry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with terry

Spanish Central: Translation of terry

Nglish: Translation of terry for Spanish Speakers

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