From Middle English slay, from Old English slege.


sley (plural sleys)

  1. reed (of a loom)
  2. A guideway in a knitting machine.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  3. (weaving) The number of ends per inch in the cloth, provided each dent in the reed in which it was made contained an equal number of ends.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of E. Whitworth to this entry?)


sley (third-person singular simple present sleys, present participle sleying, simple past and past participle sleyed)

  1. (transitive, weaving) To separate or part the threads of, and arrange them in a reed.

Related termsEdit

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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.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 sley in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of sly