ter·​ry | \ˈter-ē, 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 \

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

Sophie had no fewer than seven Juicy Couture sweatsuits: seven terry jackets and seven matching pairs of pants, inscribed on the seat with an all-caps JUICY. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.," 5 Dec. 2018 The thick cotton dress redone in a light terry cloth and turned into a hoodie. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Is It Real—And Does It Matter? How Korea’s Counterfeit Culture Shaped My Style," 27 Aug. 2018 So many '90s and early '00s summers were defined by terry cloth—dresses, bags, track suits... Ana Colon, Glamour, "19 Terry Cloth Fashion Pieces to Quench Your Summer Nostalgia," 27 July 2018 Everything from the full kits (done up in a nice terry cotton) to slide sandals and towels goes heavy on the hazy '80s and '90s nostalgia in the least embarrassing way possible—which is to say, in classic Palace fashion. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Four Essential Menswear Drops to Shop This Weekend," 27 Apr. 2018 Silk or terry-cloth robe Terry-cloth, like from a hotel. Vanity Fair, Vanities, "SZA Loves Lisa Simpson, Balenciaga, and Her Rite Aid Hoodie," 26 June 2018 Cindy Crawford celebrated Sunday with a terry cloth robe and a clay mask which the super allowed to dry in the day's rays. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "The 10 Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Cindy Crawford, Missy Elliott, and More," 27 May 2018 The terry cloth towels and all-cotton robes were notably soft. Anja Mutic, New York Times, "On Croatia’s Coast, Stunning Pools and a Mediterranean Mood," 5 May 2018 Leon Bridges and Sam Cooke croon from the speakers; the napkins resemble terry-cloth dish towels. Brett Martin, GQ, "GQ's Best New Restaurants in America, 2018," 23 Apr. 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

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for terry

The first known use of terry was in 1784

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with terry

Spanish Central: Translation of terry

Nglish: Translation of terry for Spanish Speakers

Comments on terry

What made you want to look up terry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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