One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Waxed cloth used for wrapping a corpse.
- ‘The next day the miraculous body was shewn to the multitude, though it is honestly stated by the chronicler that the whole of it, including the face, was covered with linen, the only flesh visible being through a chink left in the cerecloths at the neck.’
- ‘Twere damnation To think so base a thought; it were too gross To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave.’
- ‘The specimen I enclose, wrapped in a golden cerecloth, and with the remains of his last dinner in the proper region, will prove to you the heights to which the creative power of the true artist may soar.’
Late Middle English: from earlier cered cloth, from cere ‘to wax’, from Latin cerare, from cera ‘wax’.
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