Word of the Day : December 14, 2018

zibeline

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noun ZIB-uh-leen

Definition

: a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair, alpaca, or camel's hair

Did You Know?

Though zibeline is woven from the hair of alpacas, camels, or Angora goats, its name actually traces back to a Slavic word for the sable, a small mammal related to the weasel. The Slavic term was adopted into Old Italian, and from there it passed to Middle French, then on to English in the late 1500s. English zibeline originally referred to the sable or its fur, but in the 19th century it developed a second sense, applying to a soft, smooth, slightly furry material woven from a mixture of animal hairs. It's especially suited to women's suits and coats, or, as a fashion columnist in the December 6, 1894 issue of Vogue observed, "Zibeline ... makes an exceedingly pretty, warm theatre cloak, not too fine to be crushed into the small one-chair space."


Examples

"It's a simple, elegant design: high-collar, buttons, long sleeves, with lace and a sheer bodice. Its fabric catches the light very delicately—Bridges found the thick zibeline in London." — Hunter Harris, Vulture, 5 Jan. 2018

"The second gown is a more structured design of either silk zibeline or silk taffeta, with hand-embroidered silk thread and Swarovski crystals in three different sizes." — Joyce Chen, The Knot, 7 May 2018



Test Your Vocabulary

What 5-letter word begins with "p" and as a noun refers to a thick, soft fabric and as an adjective means "luxurious"?

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