Definition of fabric in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfabrɪk/


[mass noun]
1Cloth produced by weaving or knitting textile fibres: heavy cream fabric [count noun]: stretch fabrics
More example sentences
  • Lovely silk brocades and other fine fabrics are woven, dyed and embroidered here.
  • The use of fabrics such as Thai silk, fur and stretch cotton brings diversity to the texture.
  • I love the feel of natural fabrics; linen and silk are more lively and natural as well.
cloth, material, textile, stuff, tissue, web
2The walls, floor, and roof of a building: decay and neglect are slowly eating away at the building’s fabric
More example sentences
  • Wet rot in the attic and upper floors is eating into the timber, plaster and fabric of the building and causing part of the roof to collapse.
  • The listing of the 45 ft former windmill is intended to protect the entire fabric of the building inside and out.
  • Bradford Council says that it cannot afford to do the necessary repairs to the building and its fabric but surely it has spare cash.
structure, framework, frame, form, make-up, constitution, composition, construction, organization, infrastructure, foundations, mechanisms, anatomy, essence
2.1The body of a car or aircraft: we heard creaking and rushing noises in the car’s fabric
More example sentences
  • An examination of the aircraft's fabric after the accident revealed that the paint covering on the fuselage and part of the tail was thicker than that on the wings.
  • The wing spars and ribs are made of extruded aluminum and the complete aircraft is covered with Ceconite fabric.
2.2The basic structure of a society, culture, activity, etc. the multicultural fabric of Canadian society
More example sentences
  • Instead he began to explore the social and cultural fabric of precolonial African societies.
  • It is time to say enough is enough before the unique fabric of this multicultural society is destroyed by the enemies within.
  • Aids has devastated the social and economic fabric of African societies and made orphans of a whole generation of children.


Late 15th century: from French fabrique, from Latin fabrica 'something skilfully produced', from faber 'worker in metal, stone, etc.' The word originally denoted a building, later a machine, the general sense being 'something made', hence sense 1 (mid 18th century, originally denoting any manufactured material). sense 2 dates from the mid 17th century.

  • Fabric comes from Latin fabrica ‘something skilfully produced’. A fabric was originally ‘a building’, and then ‘a machine or appliance’ and ‘something made’, which led to the main current meaning ‘cloth, textile’. The related verb fabricate (Late Middle English) originally just meant ‘to manufacture, construct’, but towards the end of the 18th century it began to be used in the sense ‘make up facts that are not true’. See also forge

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Line breaks: fab¦ric

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