Definition of velvet in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvelvət/


1A closely woven fabric of silk, cotton, or nylon, that has a thick short pile on one side.
Example sentences
  • It was a pretty room, with a large window shrouded by thick, red, velvet curtains.
  • The materials used are silk, silk organza, cotton, brocade and velvet.
  • They sat, as they always did, in the faded velvet armchairs on either side of the fire.
1.1Soft downy skin that covers a deer’s antler while it is growing.
Example sentences
  • Before that, they are in velvet [growing antlers] and milling about in big herds like cows and do not represent a sporting quarry.
  • Then there's the period of antler shedding, and the months they're in velvet.
  • The bucks were so close that I could see the velvet on their antlers - from the safety of my car.


on velvet

informal, dated In an advantageous or prosperous position.



Example sentences
  • A yearling will have velveted antlers 10-18 inches and the neck mane will be very short.
  • A bull moose, with small, velveted antlers in spring, could do little more to defend a calf from a grizzly than could a cow.


Middle English: from Old French veluotte, from velu 'velvety', from medieval Latin villutus, from Latin villus 'tuft, down'.

  • Velvet is noted for its smoothness and softness. Latin villus, ‘tuft, down’, is the source of it and of velour (early 18th century). An iron fist in a velvet glove, meaning ‘firmness or ruthlessness cloaked in outward gentleness’, has been current in English since the 1830s when it appeared as a saying of Napoleon's. People gave the name velvet revolution to the relatively smooth change from Communism to a Western-style democracy in Czechoslovakia at the end of 1989. The similarly trouble-free division of that country into Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 1992 was the velvet divorce.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vel·vet

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