Definition of denim in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdenəm/


1A sturdy cotton twill fabric, typically blue, used for jeans, overalls, and other clothing.
Example sentences
  • He was wearing a pair of dark navy blue denim jeans, and a grey dress shirt that exactly matched the stormy shade of his eyes.
  • She was wearing blue jeans, denim jacket, dark brown wig and was carrying a sports bag.
  • He was wearing a blue jacket with white piping, blue denim jeans and either blue or black and white trainers.
1.1 (denims) Clothing made from denim fabric: a pair of denims
More example sentences
  • Everybody noticed at school that her style had changed from baggy old jeans to denims and her shirts weren't as tight and small as they had once been.
  • He was in his early twenties, dressed in denims and a lumberjack shirt.
  • The blonde boy looked just as stunning as he believed when he entered the community lounge clad in a halfway unbuttoned, black satin shirt with silver buttons, skin-tight black denims and dark suede boots.


Late 17th century (as serge denim): from French serge de Nimes, denoting a kind of serge from the manufacturing town of Nîmes.

  • jeans from Late Middle English:

    Jeans go back to the late 15th century, when the name jean fustian was used for a kind of heavy cotton cloth. It meant literally ‘fustian (a type of cloth) from Genoa’, a city in Italy. Jeans as we know them today date from the 1860s, when Levi Strauss (1829–1902), founder of the Levi's company, started to make durable denim work trousers which became popular with cowboys in the Wild West. Denim (late 17th century) was originally serge denim, from French serge de Nîmes ‘serge of Nîmes’, a city in the south of France. Serge is a woollen cloth, but modern denim is made of cotton.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: den·im

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