lin·​en | \ ˈli-nən How to pronounce linen (audio) \

Definition of linen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : made of flax
2 : made of or resembling linen



Definition of linen (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : cloth made of flax and noted for its strength, coolness, and luster
b : thread or yarn spun from flax
2 : clothing or household articles made of linen cloth or similar fabric
3 : paper made from linen fibers or with a linen finish

Examples of linen in a Sentence

Noun She washes the linen every week.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Men, meanwhile, can snag these grey linen espadrilles, once $54.95, now $35.72 with the promo code (size 9 or 12 only can get them in blue for $25.99 here). Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, 24 Aug. 2020 As for the fit, the linen dress — which comes in the brand's signature earthy hues — hits above the ankle for a full coverage look. Jayla Andrulonis, Travel + Leisure, 14 Aug. 2021 Even the original floor plans — on linen — are on display. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 6 Aug. 2021 Whether a one-shoulder, tie-strap, or halter neckline speaks to you, a linen dress is your most quintessential in the summertime. Laura Lajiness, Vogue, 15 June 2021 Benoit Blanc, sported a pink button-down shirt, cream linen pants and a baby blue neck scarf around his neck. Alexia Fernández,, 5 Aug. 2021 For me, that means a long cotton skirt with a bikini top—usually my matte black Marysia tank—and an unbuttoned linen shirt. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, 26 July 2021 Her other half was also dressed casually for the occasion, sporting a linen shirt, navy trousers, and suede loafers. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 8 June 2021 The letter sent from the Philippines in June 1945 is tucked away like our dad’s old linen-closet stash of cash. Joy Wallace Dickinson,, 13 June 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for linen


Middle English, from Old English līnen, from līn flax, from Latin linum flax; akin to Greek linon flax, thread

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Time Traveler for linen

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The first known use of linen was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near linen

linemen's pliers


linen closet

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Statistics for linen

Cite this Entry

“Linen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for linen



English Language Learners Definition of linen

: a smooth, strong cloth made from flax
: tablecloths, sheets, etc., made of linen or a similar cloth


lin·​en | \ ˈli-nən How to pronounce linen (audio) \

Kids Definition of linen

1 : smooth strong cloth or yarn made from flax
2 : household articles (as tablecloths or sheets) or clothing that were once often made of linen

More from Merriam-Webster on linen

Nglish: Translation of linen for Spanish Speakers

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


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