whole cloth(redirected from out of whole cloth)
Also found in: Idioms.
Related to out of whole cloth: cut from the same cloth
Pure fabrication or fiction: "His account of being drugged, kidnapped and tortured was made up of whole cloth" (George Carver).
out of whole cloth
1. By means of the imagination or as a fabrication: "Some of her stories she created out of whole cloth; for others she began with an incident Idella had described and then reimagined it into a full story" (Kate Walbert).
2. Out of nothing; from the very start: "The idea of creating out of whole cloth an intelligence network in a country like that is daunting" (Jack Reed).
[From the fabrication of garments out of newly manufactured, full-sized pieces of cloth.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.