CLOTH , properly a covering, especially for the
See also:body, clothing, then the material of which such a covering is made; hence any material
See also:woven of wool or hair,
See also:flax or
See also:vegetable fibre . In commercial usage, the word is particularly applied to a fabric made of wool . The word is Teutonic, though it does not appear in all the branches of the language . It appears in German as Kleid,
See also:dress (Kleidung, clothing), and in Dutch as kleed . The ultimate origin is unknown; it may be ,connected with the
See also:root kli- meaning to stick, cling to, which appears in "
See also:clay," " cleave " and other words . The
See also:original meaning would be either that which clings to the body, or that which is pressed or " felted " together . The
See also:regular plural of " cloth " was " clothes," which is now confined in meaning to articles of clothing, garments, in which sense the singular " cloth " is not now used . For that word, in its
See also:modern sense of material, the plural " cloths " is used . This
See also:dates from the beginning of the 17th century, but the distinction in meaning between cloths " and " clothes " is a 19th-century one .
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