vel·​vet | \ ˈvel-vət How to pronounce velvet (audio) \

Definition of velvet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a clothing and upholstery fabric (as of silk, rayon, or wool) characterized by a short soft dense warp pile
2a : something suggesting velvet
b : a characteristic (such as softness or smoothness) of velvet
3 : the soft vascular skin that envelops and nourishes the developing antlers of deer
4a : the winnings of a player in a gambling game
b : a profit or gain beyond ordinary expectation



Definition of velvet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made of or covered with velvet also : clad in velvet
2 : resembling or suggesting velvet : velvety a velvet voice

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Other Words from velvet


velvetlike \ ˈvel-​vət-​ˌlīk How to pronounce velvet (audio) \ adjective

Examples of velvet in a Sentence

Noun She was dressed in black velvet.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The popularity of these quilts continued through the early 20th century, with seamstresses making lavish quilts of silk, velvet and brocade and showing off decorative stitching on each seam. oregonlive, "This crazy quilt’s back story boosts its value and interest for collectors," 21 Apr. 2021 Rich, textured fabrics including tweed, velvet and handmade Irish linen, have been used for upholstery, drapery and soft furnishings, while eclectic artwork by emerging artists adorn the walls. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, "Behind The Scenes At The Grove: Martin Hulbert Reveals His Stylish Hotel Redesign," 19 Apr. 2021 It is designed using soft velvet and fiberboard as a display for bracelets, watches, and necklaces. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Jewelry Display Stand," 15 Apr. 2021 Matte surfaces can look like velvet: rich and saturated. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "A Paint Expert's Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Paint Finish," 6 Apr. 2021 Ecua has a quick turnaround time, especially for more straightforward projects — like a green velvet Ethan Allen chair found on the curb and reupholstered with new green canvas fabric — generally needing no more than a week. Trupti Rami, Curbed, "The Best Upholsterers in New York," 1 Apr. 2021 Shiny velvet gives them scales; pointy, trimmed feathers in jewel tones of blue, purple and orange adorn the curve of their wire spines. New York Times, "Feathers and Female Power: The Costumes of Carnival," 18 Feb. 2021 Legacy West has a design that fits the bill, with velvet armchairs for seating and an Italian marble exterior façade. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Checking out the new Gucci store in Plano’s Legacy West," 23 Apr. 2021 While cut and uncut velvet are still woven on four original hand looms from the late 18th century, Rubelli’s Cucciago factory also has state-of-the-art electronic jacquard looms. Melissa Feldman And Parker Bowie Larson, ELLE Decor, "These 12 Family-Run Companies Are the Beating Heart of Italian Design," 22 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The scrunchie girls will love the sleek and luxe satin and velvet options. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Pattern By Tracee Ellis Ross Launches Line Of Hair Accessories," 13 May 2020 Elsa Elbert recommends velvet hangers if space is an issue or wood hangers if there’s room. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "12 Home Cleaning Hacks From Hotel Housekeeping and Professional Organizers," 5 May 2020 The Kempinski’s rooms are modern, though the lobby is outfitted with marble floors and velvet furniture. Kate Krader,, "Forget Palaces and Art, Let’s Go to Vienna for the Cake and Wine," 5 May 2020 The model herself wore their velvet tuxedo jacket, a Polo Bear sweater, and an incredible smokey eye. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Taylor Hill Hosted a Cozy Holiday Dinner for Ralph Lauren at the Polo Bar," 9 Dec. 2019 With its infinite white corridors and oddball patients, including an amateur astrologer in a velvet robe, the hospital is akin to an asylum. Jeremy Lybarger, The New York Review of Books, "The Mordant Fables of Juraj Herz," 20 Apr. 2020 The velvet ash, black walnut and cottonwood trees along Leslie Creek are important to migrating birds as well as home to two native Rio Yaqui fish species. Debra Utacia Krol, azcentral, "Feds want to open or expand hunting on 4 national wildlife refuges in Arizona," 11 Apr. 2020 Sets come with a velvet pouch, and are available in many varieties of stone, including obsidian, tiger’s eye, grey agate, and more. Popular Science, "Polyhedral gaming dice are the weapons of your imagination," 9 Apr. 2020 The personification of an iron fist in a velvet glove, Schlafly has difficulty living up to her own ideals and convictions, occasionally directing that clenched hand against herself. Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mrs. America': TV Review," 2 Apr. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for velvet


Middle English veluet, velvet, borrowed from Anglo-French velvet, from velu "shaggy, soft, velvety" (going back to early Medieval Latin villūtus, from Latin villus "shaggy growth of hair, cloth nap" + Late Latin -ūtus, adjective suffix) + -et -et entry 1; Latin villus, perhaps dialectal variant of vellus "plucked wool, fleece" — more at wool

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Time Traveler for velvet

Time Traveler

The first known use of velvet was in the 14th century

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Statistics for velvet

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Velvet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for velvet



English Language Learners Definition of velvet

: a soft type of cloth that has short raised fibers on one side


vel·​vet | \ ˈvel-vət How to pronounce velvet (audio) \

Kids Definition of velvet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a fabric with short soft raised fibers



Kids Definition of velvet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made of or covered with velvet
2 : velvety

More from Merriam-Webster on velvet

Nglish: Translation of velvet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of velvet for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about velvet

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