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 (năn-kēn′) also nan·kin (-kēn′, -kĭn′)
a. A sturdy yellow or buff cotton cloth.
b. nankeens Trousers made of this cloth.
2. Nankeen A Chinese porcelain with a blue-and-white pattern.

[After Nanjing.]


(næŋˈkiːn) or


1. (Textiles) a hard-wearing buff-coloured cotton fabric
2. (Colours)
a. a pale greyish-yellow colour
b. (as adjective): a nankeen carpet.
[C18: named after Nanking, China, where it originated]



also nan-kin


1. a durable yellow or buff fabric, formerly made from Chinese cotton.
2. nankeens, garments made of this material.
(after Nankin Nanjing]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.nankeen - a durable fabric formerly loomed by hand in China from natural cotton having a yellowish color
cloth, fabric, textile, material - artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers; "the fabric in the curtains was light and semitransparent"; "woven cloth originated in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC"; "she measured off enough material for a dress"


n, no pl (= cloth)Nanking(-stoff) m
References in classic literature ?
Here they would sell their furs, take in teas, nankeens, and other merchandise, and return to Boston, after an absence of two or three years.
Natalie held up the skirt of her nankeen dress, and exhibited the purple trimming torn away over an extent of some yards.
The day after that in which the scene we have just described had taken place on the road between Bellegarde and Beaucaire, a man of about thirty or two and thirty, dressed in a bright blue frock coat, nankeen trousers, and a white waistcoat, having the appearance and accent of an Englishman, presented himself before the mayor of Marseilles.
Young women old in the vices of the commonest and worst life, were expected to profess themselves enthralled by the good child's book, the Adventures of Little Margery, who resided in the village cottage by the mill; severely reproved and morally squashed the miller, when she was five and he was fifty; divided her porridge with singing birds; denied herself a new nankeen bonnet, on the ground that the turnips did not wear nankeen bonnets, neither did the sheep who ate them; who plaited straw and delivered the dreariest orations to all comers, at all sorts of unseasonable times.
His nether garment was a yellow nankeen, closely fitted to the shape, and tied at his bunches of knees by large knots of white ribbon, a good deal sullied by use.
Noel Vanstone slowly walked by, as she looked, dressed in a complete suit of old-fashioned nankeen.