One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Cotton fabric treated on one side with oil to make it waterproof.
- ‘There was oilcloth on the floor, which was old and torn.’
- ‘It was brown and dirty, wrapped in oilcloth and tied with a dirty string.’
- ‘The sides are draped with oilcloth so that no one can look in.’
- ‘He undid the layers of oilcloth and canvas, relieved that they had kept the twigs and shaved wood dry.’
- ‘When the lid is down, the pine becomes evident, although tack holes indicate that the writing surface was originally covered with oilcloth, hiding the lesser wood.’
- ‘She shoved it into his hand, a thick parcel of grubby rags and oilcloth.’
- ‘Lilac wallpaper and oilcloth on pantry shelves say he was married, and scattered toys suggest children.’
- ‘Nine ounces of oilcloth is always a sign of durable cotton.’
- ‘In the meanwhile, Gramma put up a piece of oilcloth to keep the bugs out and let a little light in.’
- ‘In the other were chairs and wooden tables covered in a kind of oilcloth.’
- ‘A short while later, Judd came out again holding an object wrapped in oilcloth.’
- ‘My inventor sat at the kitchen table and sketched his idea on to a piece of oilcloth.’
- ‘David leaned over and reached into his pocket, and came out holding a small flat bundle wrapped in oilcloth.’
- ‘From tents and dresses and beach towels to oilcloth and pencil cases and dog beds, Kidston makes a mind-boggling assortment of products.’
- ‘Look for oilcloth online or at specialty fabric shops.’
- ‘She might get a piece of material to make curtains for the kitchen window and some oilcloth for the table.’
- ‘Once again, the small oilcloth covered parcel caught her eye and she checked its contents.’
- 1.1count noun A canvas coated with linseed or other oil and used to cover a table or floor.
- ‘He was surprised to find the remains of the wild bird his companion had been roasting, all wrapped in an oilcloth.’
- ‘During an interval in the battle of Cold Harbor in 1864, he was seen lying on an oilcloth, occupying himself by studying Arabic.’
- ‘In the middle of the room, a long plank table stood, an oilcloth covering it.’
- ‘From under the oilcloth on the table, she pulled out her husband's secret drawings, made mostly in a large spiral copy book.’
- ‘That was why the bronze screw and rudder were covered by oilcloths until they were safely submerged and out of sight.’
- ‘A table covered with a dark oilcloth took up all the middle of the little room.’
- ‘The driver was a shadowy figure buried under a drab-green oilcloth that glistened with water and reflections from isolated windows.’
- ‘Raindrops trickle down his face with the affectionate tranquility of milk on an oilcloth.’
- ‘The black man, Levi Chew, rode in back on the oilcloth that covered the wagon's load.’
- ‘A used rocking chair was my bed, and when I found food, a soiled blue oilcloth was my table.’
- ‘Near a pot of bitter brown water masquerading as coffee, on a platter perched atop a red-checked oilcloth, sat the finest apricot turnovers this side of anywhere.’
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