a) A coarse hessian style of cloth used to make sacks.

After he realised the gravity of his crime he spent some time wearing sackcloth and ashes.

b) (Usually paired with ashes), garments worn as an act of penance. Now often used figuratively.

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  • Sackcloth — Sack cloth (?; 115), n. Linen or cotton cloth such as sacks are made of; coarse cloth; anciently, a cloth or garment worn in mourning, distress, mortification, or penitence. [1913 Webster] Gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. 2 Sam.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sackcloth — ► NOUN ▪ a coarse fabric woven from flax or hemp. ● sackcloth and ashes Cf. ↑sackcloth and ashes …   English terms dictionary

  • sackcloth — [sak′klôth΄, sak′kläth΄] n. [see SACK1] 1. SACKING 2. coarse, rough cloth, orig. made of goats hair, worn as a symbol of mourning or penitence, often with ashes sprinkled on the head in sackcloth and ashes in a state of great mourning or… …   English World dictionary

  • sackcloth — penitential garb, c.1300, from SACK (Cf. sack) (n.1) + CLOTH (Cf. cloth). In the Biblical sense it was of goats or camels hair, the coarsest possible clothing …   Etymology dictionary

  • sackcloth — [[t]sæ̱kklɒθ[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Sackcloth is rough woven material that is used to make sacks. He kept the club wrapped in sackcloth. Syn: hessian 2) N UNCOUNT If you talk about sackcloth or sackcloth and ashes you are referring to an exaggerated… …   English dictionary

  • sackcloth — noun artsy lamps made of castoff materials such as old chicken wire and sackcloth in sackcloth and ashes wearing sackcloth and ashes Syn: hessian, sacking, hopsack, burlap; gunny …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • sackcloth — sackclothed, adj. /sak klawth , kloth /, n. 1. sacking. 2. coarse cloth worn as a sign of mourning or penitence. 3. in sackcloth and ashes, in a state of repentance or sorrow; contrite: She would be in sackcloth and ashes for days over every… …   Universalium

  • sackcloth — n. mourning in sackcloth and ashes * * * [ sækklɒθ] [ mourning ] in sackcloth and ashes …   Combinatory dictionary

  • sackcloth — noun a coarse fabric woven from flax or hemp. Phrases 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 …   English new terms dictionary

  • sackcloth — noun Etymology: 1sack Date: 13th century 1. a coarse cloth of goat or camel s hair or of flax, hemp, or cotton 2. a garment of sackcloth worn as a sign of mourning or penitence …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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