Cloth (?; 115), n.; pl. Cloths (#; 115), except in the sense of garments, when it is Clothes (klothz ∨ kloz). [OE. clath cloth, AS. cla�xed; cloth, garment; akin to D. kleed, Icel. klae[eth]i, Dan. klaede, cloth, Sw. klade, G. kleid garment, dress.]


A fabric made of fibrous material (or sometimes of wire, as in wire cloth); commonly, a woven fabric of cotton, woolen, or linen, adapted to be made into garments; specifically, woolen fabrics, as distinguished from all others.


The dress; raiment. [Obs.] See Clothes.

I'll ne'er distust my God for cloth and bread. Quarles.


The distinctive dress of any profession, especially of the clergy; hence, the clerical profession.

Appeals were made to the priesthood. Would they tamely permit so gross an insult to be offered to their cloth? Macaulay.

The cloth, the clergy, are constituted for administering and for giving the best possible effect to . . . every axiom. I. Taylor.

Body cloth. See under Body. -- Cloth of gold, a fabric woven wholly or partially of threads of gold. -- Cloth measure, the measure of length and surface by which cloth is measured and sold. For this object the standard yard is usually divided into quarters and nails. -- Cloth paper, a coarse kind of paper used in pressing and finishing woolen cloth. -- Cloth shearer, one who shears cloth and frees it from superfluous nap.


© Webster 1913.