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illustration Selvage



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Late Middle English, 15th century. (Geological term is from the 1930s.)


An edge produced on woven fabric during manufacture that prevents it from unraveling.


(Geology) a zone of altered rock, especially volcanic glass, at the edge of a rock mass.

Examples of Selvage in a sentence

"The curtain’s selvage was a different color, creating a noticeable border."

"Tom wanted to study how the selvage of obsidian formed."

About Selvage

This word hails from late Middle English. It is an alteration of “self” + “edge,” patterned off of the early modern Dutch “selfegghe.”

Did you Know?

“Selvage” doesn’t just refer to fabric. For instance, in printing, it means the excess area of a printed or perforated sheet, such as the white border area of a sheet of stamps or the wide margins of an engraving. It can also refer to the clay-like material found along a geological fault.

illustration Selvage

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