a. Thread made from fibers of the flax plant.
b. Cloth woven from this thread.
2. also linens Articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear, formerly made of linen and now usually made of other fabrics, especially cotton.
3. Paper made from flax fibers or having a linenlike luster.
1. Made of flax or linen.
2. Resembling linen.
[Middle English, from Old English līnen, made of flax, from Germanic *līnin-, from *līnam, flax, probably from Latin līnum; see lno- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.