1. fine ravellings of cotton or linen fibers
2. cotton or linen fabric with the nap raised on one side
; used to dress wounds
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Lint \Lint\ (l[i^]nt), n. [AS. l[imac]net flax, hemp, fr.
l[imac]n flax; or, perh. borrowed fr. L. linteum a linen
cloth, linen, from linteus linen, a., fr. linum flax, lint.
2. Linen scraped or otherwise made into a soft, downy or
fleecy substance for dressing wounds and sores; also, fine
ravelings, down, fluff, or loose short fibers from yarn or
Lint doctor (Calico-printing Mach.), a scraper to remove
lint from a printing cylinder.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: fine ravellings of cotton or linen fibers
2: cotton or linen fabric with the nap raised on one side; used
to dress wounds
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
70 Moby Thesaurus words for "lint":
Ace bandage, Band-Aid, adhesive tape, air pollution, application,
attritus, band, bandage, bandaging, binder, brace, bran, cast,
cataplasm, clue, compress, cosmic dust, cotton, court plaster,
cravat, crumb, crumble, down, dressing, dust, dust ball,
efflorescence, eiderdown, elastic bandage, epithem, fallout,
farina, filings, floss, flour, flue, fluff, four-tailed bandage,
fur, fuzz, gauze, grits, groats, kittens, meal, pile, plaster,
plaster cast, pledget, poultice, powder, pussies, raspings, roller,
roller bandage, rubber bandage, sawdust, sling, smut, soot, splint,
sponge, stupe, swansdown, tampon, tape, tent, thistledown,
tourniquet, triangular bandage
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
[from Unix's lint(1), named for the bits of fluff it supposedly picks from
1. vt. To examine a program closely for style, language usage, and
portability problems, esp. if in C, esp. if via use of automated analysis
tools, most esp. if the Unix utility lint(1) is used. This term used to be
restricted to use of lint(1) itself, but (judging by references on Usenet)
it has become a shorthand for any exhaustive review process at some
non-Unix shops, even in languages other than C. Also as v. delint.
2. n. Excess verbiage in a document, as in ?This draft has too much lint?.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):
A Unix C language processor which carries out more
thorough checks on the code than is usual with C compilers.
Lint is named after the bits of fluff it supposedly picks from
programs. Judging by references on Usenet this term has
become a shorthand for desk check at some non-Unix shops,
even in languages other than C. Also used as delint.