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whole cloth (uncountable)

  1. A newly made textile which has not yet been cut.
  2. (figuratively, used attributively or preceded by various prepositions) The fictitious material from which complete fabrications, lies with no basis in truth, are made.
    Mr. Doe's account of the accident was made from whole cloth.
  3. Something made completely new, with no history, and not based on anything else.
    The plans for the widget were drawn from whole cloth.
    • 1883, Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, chapter 27:
      And, mind you, emotions are among the toughest things in the world to manufacture out of whole cloth; it is easier to manufacture seven facts than one emotion.
    • 1852, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, by Karl Marx, chapter I:
      Man makes his own history, but he does not make it out of the whole cloth; he does not make it out of conditions chosen by himself, but out of such as he finds close at hand.
    • 1988, R. v. Morgentaler, a case heard in the Supreme Court of Canada
      The decisions made by judges, however, and the interpretations that they advance or accept must be plausibly inferable from something in the Charter. It is not for the courts to manufacture a constitutional right out of whole cloth.




whole cloth (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) in full extent, wholesale, entirely, without changes or additions
    • 2012 May 31, Tasha Robinson, “Film: Review: Snow White And The Huntsman”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      Some are strangely detailed, like the hugely antlered white deer-creature-cum-forest-god seemingly stolen whole cloth from Princess Mononoke.


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