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

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 Aimé Leon Dore Aimé Leon Dore striped sport shorts $240, Aimé Leon Dore Buy Now Aimé Leon Dore usually offers cozy goods like slim-cut sweatpants and french terry sweaters. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Five Essential Menswear Drops to Shop This Weekend," 18 May 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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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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The first known use of terry was in 1784

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Spanish Central: Translation of terry

Nglish: Translation of terry for Spanish Speakers

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something that serves to warn or remind

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