Definition of velvet in US English:



  • 1A closely woven fabric of silk, cotton, or nylon, that has a thick short pile on one side.

    • ‘The materials used are silk, silk organza, cotton, brocade and velvet.’
    • ‘The bride wore a dress made of ivory silk georgette embroidered with rows of tiny antique silk velvet rosebuds, with a two metre train.’
    • ‘The water was liquid velvet against his skin, and the scent of orchids filled the air as he swam.’
    • ‘Hastily, she twisted her hair into a loose bun and then pulled on the hood over her head, savoring the soft feeling of velvet against her skin.’
    • ‘I'm a jeans girl really but silk and velvet have to have their place if one is going to dress up.’
    • ‘The textile designer Ciaran Sweeney is a man of many fabrics, but he is best known for his flamboyant work with silk and silk velvet.’
    • ‘She pressed her face into the soft blue velvet of her mother's dress.’
    • ‘They sat, as they always did, in the faded velvet armchairs on either side of the fire.’
    • ‘The Chinese-style dresses, skirts and tops come in shimmering silk and voluptuous velvet.’
    • ‘I'm also launching some new shades of neutral colours to expand my working palette and some vintage velvet fabrics.’
    • ‘On top of the white velvet lining lay a delicate circlet of diamonds.’
    • ‘Do not wear velvet or satin in the summer.’
    • ‘It was a pretty room, with a large window shrouded by thick, red, velvet curtains.’
    • ‘The girls looked stunning in silk, chiffon and velvet as they modelled two-piece outfits and flowing ensembles.’
    • ‘I lifted up the skirt of my ruby velvet dress and walked towards him.’
    • ‘Even centuries later, the rich damasks and velvets favored for upholstery would be seen as the height of chic.’
    • ‘The firelight caught the cut of the diamonds and they sparkled against the burgundy velvet.’
    • ‘Her skin was lightly tanned and looked as smooth and as soft as velvet.’
    • ‘She opened the window and sat down on the velvet covered window seat.’
    • ‘There is considerable debate among textile historians as to where velvet was first woven.’
    1. 1.1 Soft downy skin that covers a deer's antler while it is growing.
      • ‘The bucks were so close that I could see the velvet on their antlers - from the safety of my car.’
      • ‘Then there's the period of antler shedding, and the months they're in velvet.’
      • ‘Before that, they are in velvet [growing antlers] and milling about in big herds like cows and do not represent a sporting quarry.’
      • ‘The collection of deer antler velvet is reportedly quite cruel by western standards.’


  • on velvet

    • dated, informal In an advantageous or prosperous position.

      wealthy, rich, affluent, well off, well-to-do, moneyed, cash rich, with deep pockets, prosperous, of means, of substance
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French veluotte, from velu ‘velvety’, from medieval Latin villutus, from Latin villus ‘tuft, down’.