Sometimes, the materials used to make a product have similar names to the end product itself. This is the case with cloth and clothes. Clothes are made of cloth, but do either of these words have additional meanings? Continue reading to find out.
The word cloth originated from Old English clāth, related to Dutch kleed and German Kleid, of unknown ultimate origin. Clothe originated from Old English (only recorded in the past participle geclāded), from clāth.
Cloth as noun:
Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Clothes as noun:
He stripped off his clothes.
Sanitation staff Swamy, Saraiah, Komuraiah, Sunitha and Bhagya, who work in Srinagar Colony (South), were felicitated with a shawl, memento and a pair of clothes in recognition of their service. [The Hindu]
A security guard for the building at 208 S. LaSalle St. heard someone beating on the windows at 2:40 a.m., went to investigate and spotted three people in dark clothing inside the Paul Stuart store, according to a police report. [Chicago Tribune]
Cloth or clothes:
Clothes and cloth are both nouns, but only clothes is a verb. Clothes are garments worn to cover the body. Cloth is the fabric used to make garments and other items. As a verb, clothes is the third person present tense of the verb clothe. You can remember that clothes refers to garments since both clothes and garments are plural. If the word you are using is a verb, you should choose clothe in the first and second person, and clothes in the third person. Cloth is never a verb. As a noun, clothes refers to finished garments, while cloth refers to fabric, either by itself, unfinished, or as a component of a finished garment. You can remember that clothes refers to garments since most people wear more than one garment at a time in most societies, and clothes and garments are both plural.