Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Word of the day: samite

The word of the day is samite:
  1. a heavy silk fabric, sometimes interwoven with gold, worn in the Middle Ages.
"rich silk cloth," c.1300, from O.Fr. samit, from M.L. samitum, examitum, from Medieval Gk. hexamiton (source of O.C.S. oksamitu, Rus. aksamit "velvet"), prop. neut. of Gk. adj. hexamitos "six-threaded," from hex "six" + mitos "warp thread" (see mitre). The reason it was called this is variously explained. Obsolete c.1600; revived by Tennyson. Ger. Sammet "velvet" is from French.


"The bishop's envoy wore a black velvet chasuble over his dazzlingly white vestments, and the monk was resplendent in yards of samite and gilt embroidery."

 - Connie Willis, Doomsday Book

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