From Old French tissu, past participle of tistre, from Latin texere.



tissue (countable and uncountable, plural tissues)

  1. Thin, woven, gauze-like fabric.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 17, in The China Governess[1]:
      The face which emerged was not reassuring. It was blunt and grey, the nose springing thick and flat from high on the frontal bone of the forehead, whilst his eyes were narrow slits of dark in a tight bandage of tissue. […].
  2. A fine transparent silk material, used for veils, etc.; specifically, cloth interwoven with gold or silver threads, or embossed with figures.
  3. A sheet of absorbent paper, especially one that is made to be used as tissue paper, toilet paper or a handkerchief.
  4. Absorbent paper as material.
  5. (biology) A group of cells similar in origin that function together to do a specific job.
  6. Web; texture; complicated fabrication; connected series.
    a tissue of forgeries, or of lies
    • 1888, A. J. Balfour, The Religion of Humanity
      unwilling to leave the dry bones of Agnosticism wholly unclothed with any living tissue of religious emotion


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tissue (third-person singular simple present tissues, present participle tissuing, simple past and past participle tissued)

  1. To form tissue of; to interweave.