Corrupted form of French lustring, probably influenced by lute.


lutestring (plural lutestrings)

  1. (archaic) A plain, stout, lustrous silk, used for ladies' dresses and for ribbon.
    • 1784, Abagail Adams, cited in David McCullough, John Adams, page 305
      A dressing chemise of Tiffany which she had on over a blue lutestring
    • 1759, Oliver Goldsmith, "On Dress," in The Bee no. 2 (Oct. 13, 1759)
      "There goes Mrs. Roundabout, I mean the fat lady in the lutestring trollopee. Between you and I, she is but a cutler's wife. See how she's dressed, as fine as hands and pins can make her . . ."

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “lutestring” in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)