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 Everyone loves a matching set, and Terry's cotton-terry shirt and shorts are no exception. Taylor Ayers, Marie Claire, "The Bathing Suit Cover-Ups We're Coveting for Summer 2021," 27 Apr. 2021 With Adidas’ trademark three stripes, these shorts are fabricated from French terry. Ambar Pardilla, NBC News, "Best sweat shorts for men and women of 2021, according to experts," 23 Mar. 2021 The suede is buttery and soft, and there are tiny CC logos in soft terry everywhere. Vogue Runway, Vogue, "10 Stylish Shoppers Share Their Latest Purchases," 27 Nov. 2020 As seen on Shark Tank, this unisex dry-up comes in four neutral colors—black, gunmetal, navy, and olive—and is made from a supersoft French terry. Ariel Wodarcyk, Field & Stream, "Stay Warm and Store Your Stuff in This Hoodie-Turned-Backpack," 23 Nov. 2020 These bandana-style bibs are built with several layers of fabric: breathable muslin on the outside, an absorbent terry inside and a waterproof lining to stop drool or milk from leaking through. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "Good Housekeeping's 2020 Parenting Awards," 24 Sep. 2020 These come in a cool French terry fabrication and cheery stripes. Elizabeth Wallace, CNN Underscored, "23 bucket hats that will make your summer wardrobe even cooler," 11 Aug. 2020 If your handbag is fabric, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth or terry-cloth towel moistened with rubbing alcohol. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Set driving rules before lending the car to the kids," 30 July 2020 Reebok Men’s Classic Vector Shorts are 100 percent cotton French terry with side seam pockets. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Amazon’s ‘Big Style Sale’ is on, deals up to 50 percent off Reebok, Fossil, Tommy Hilfiger and more," 25 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about terry

Statistics for terry

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Terry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terry. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!