Online Encyclopedia

LOOM

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 989 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LOOM, a machine for weaving fabrics by in,ersecting the longitudinal threads, the " warp," i.e. " thpt which is thrown across " (O.E. wearp, from weor pan, to throw, cf. Ger. werfen) with the transverse threads, the " weft," i.e. " that which is woven " (O.E. wefta, from wefan, to weave, cf. Ger. weben). The O.E. geloma and M.E. lome meant an implement or tool of any kind. In the sense of property, furniture, &c., it appears in heirloom (q.v.). The earliest example with its specific meaning quoted by the New English Dictionary is from the Nottingham Records of 1404 (see WEAVING). " Loom " in the sense of " to appear indistinctly," to come into view in an exaggerated indistinct shape, must be distinguished from the above word. This appears to have been a sailor's term for the indistinct or exaggerated appearance of land, a vessel or other object through haze or darkness at sea. It is of obscure origin, but has been connected through the O. Fr. tuner, modern allumer, with Lat. lumen, light, and with the root seen in " lame," in the sense of " moving slowly towards one."
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