Definition of pipeclay in US English:



  • A fine white clay, used especially for making tobacco pipes or for whitening leather.

    • ‘Neither pipeclay nor blanco reacted well to rain, and many men who fought at Waterloo, where it rained heavily the night before the battle, had uniforms streaked with pipeclay.’
    • ‘A small pipeclay lion was found, with traces of brown glaze on the mane.’


[with object]
  • Whiten (leather) with pipeclay.

    • ‘The infantryman carried a substantial ammunition pouch, bayonet, water-bottle, and ‘snapsack’ for a day's rations suspended from broad cross-belts, usually made of buff leather and pipeclayed to inconvenient whiteness.’
    • ‘The dye also ran, but as long as your crossbelts were pipeclayed and hair powdered, who cared if you were dressed in a fetching shade of pink?’
    • ‘Well! it was a Saturday night, and I'd my baize apron on, and the tails of my bed-gown pinned together behind, down on my knees, pipeclaying the kitchen, when a knock comes to the back door.’