Definition of sackcloth in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsakklɒθ/


[mass noun]
A very coarse, rough fabric woven from flax or hemp.
Example sentences
  • Canvas is popular because it's light, rigid, yet elastic at the same time. Canvas can be made from sackcloth, cotton (most popular), synthetic, a combination of materials or even smooth linen.
  • The feel of the dark silk against his skin was welcome after the years of coarse sackcloth, and having the weight of the chains taken away lifted his spirits.
  • Initially attired in heavyweight fabrics, and sackcloth aprons - the sort of robust clothing necessary to withstand the rigour of their work - the girls were often criticised for their lack of femininity.
hessian, sacking, hopsack, hopsacking, burlap;
North American & Indian  gunny;
East Indies  tāt
historical poldavy, stramin, sugarsack


sackcloth and ashes

Used with allusion to the wearing of sackcloth and having ashes sprinkled on the head as a sign of penitence or mourning (Matt 11:21): they should, at least, be wearing sackcloth and ashes in token penance of the wrongs committed
More example sentences
  • Even Fischer, who has faced most criticism, has meekly put on sackcloth and ashes and done penitence.
  • We are the generation, along with our fathers and mothers, who put on the sackcloth and ashes, who wore the hair shirt, who stoically suffered penal taxes, who went without so that the future generations might have a better quality of life.
  • That debacle was quite some time ago - we can't wear sackcloth and ashes forever.

Words that rhyme with sackcloth


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sack|cloth

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.