Definition of lisle in English:


(also lisle thread)


mass noun
  • A fine, smooth cotton thread used especially for stockings.

    usually as modifier ‘black lisle stockings’
    count noun ‘silks, lisles, and chiffons’
    • ‘Very often lisle threads are added to the foot and garter-top to increase the durability of the stockings.’
    • ‘During the war years she wore black lisle stockings for work, but it was the Du Pont nylons that were the most prized.’
    • ‘We tailor our double mercerized 100% Egyptian cotton lisles in a classic golf cut, mindful of the necessary balance between freedom of movement and an elegant fit.’
    • ‘She said: ‘We had a navy gym slip (which had to touch the ground while kneeling) and white blouse, thick navy fleecy lined bloomers plus pocket, lisle stockings, velour hats, navy coats and blazers with a red enamelled badge.’’
    • ‘I stood out like a sore thumb in my lisle knee-socks and street clothes.’
    • ‘She wears heavy brogue shoes and those thick lisle stockings.’
    • ‘Fawn lisle or black woollen stockings and lace up shoes were required, but during the war with the shortage of clothing girls were allowed to wear three quarter grey woollen socks.’
    • ‘She went off to Oxford in the late 1930s in a serviceable tweed suit and thick lisle stockings.’
    • ‘My uniform was a navy gym frock and blazer, a white blouse, and black lisle or woollen stockings.’
    • ‘They aimed to create alternatives so stylish that, as one supporter wrote hopefully, after observing a non-silk parade, ‘one would think that lisle stockings were the latest fashion decree.’’


Mid 16th century: from Lisle, former spelling of Lille, the original place of manufacture.