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Lint vs. Lent: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on November 11, 2023
Lint refers to short fibers that detach from cloth or other materials, while lent is the past tense of 'lend,' meaning to give something to someone temporarily.

Key Differences

Lint is a noun that describes the small fibers or fuzz that accumulate on clothing and fabrics. Lent, in contrast, is a verb form, specifically the past tense of 'lend,' meaning to have given something to someone temporarily.
Lint often accumulates in areas such as pockets, under furniture, or in a dryer after washing clothes. Lent, as an action, refers to the act of allowing someone to use or borrow something with the expectation of its return.
The term lint can also refer to the material used for dressing wounds, known for its softness and absorbency. Lent, on the other hand, is used in various contexts where sharing or giving something is involved, with no connection to fabric or fibers.
Lint is often considered a nuisance or a sign of wear in textiles. Lent carries the connotation of generosity or helpfulness, as it involves providing something to others.
Lint can be removed using rollers or brushes, a physical action dealing with material objects. Lent, as a past action, is intangible and relates to the concept of temporary possession or use of an item.

Comparison Chart


Small fibers from textiles
Past tense of 'lend'


Clothing, fabrics, cleaning
Act of borrowing or sharing


Describes material accumulation
Describes an action of giving temporarily


Often seen as nuisance or waste
Implies generosity, helpfulness


Physical, tangible
Intangible, related to actions

Lint and Lent Definitions


Small fibers that detach from fabrics.
He cleaned the lint off his sweater.


Past tense of lending something.
She lent her book to a friend.


Soft material used for dressing wounds.
The nurse applied lint to the wound.


Having given something for temporary use.
He lent his coat to her on the cold night.


Material residue from fabric wear.
The old couch was covered in lint.


Given for a short period.
He lent his phone to a stranger to make a call.


Accumulated fuzz in a clothes dryer.
She emptied the lint trap after drying her clothes.


Provided temporarily with the expectation of return.
They lent their car to their neighbors for the weekend.


Fuzz found in pockets or under furniture.
He found a lot of lint in his jacket pocket.


Allowed someone to use or borrow.
She lent her expertise to the project.


Clinging bits of fiber and fluff; fuzz.


Past tense and past participle of lend.


Downy material obtained by scraping linen cloth and used for dressing wounds.


A 40-day period of fasting and penitence observed by many Christians in preparation for Easter. In Western churches, Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday until Easter, usually excepting Sundays.


The mass of soft fibers surrounding the seeds of unginned cotton.


Simple past tense and past participle of lend


Clinging fuzzy fluff that clings to fabric or accumulates in one's pockets or navel etc.
Clean the lint out of the vacuum cleaner's filter.


A fast of forty days, beginning with Ash Wednesday and continuing till Easter, observed by some Christian churches as commemorative of the fast of our Savior.


A fine material made by scraping cotton or linen cloth; used for dressing wounds.


Slow; mild; gentle; as, lenter heats.


The fibrous coat of thick hairs covering the seeds of the cotton plant.


See Lento.


Raw cotton ready for baling.


A period of 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday


To perform a static check on (source code) to detect stylistic or programmatic errors.
You should lint your JavaScript code before committing it.




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 fabrics.


Fine ravellings of cotton or linen fibers


Cotton or linen fabric with the nap raised on one side; used to dress wounds


Can lint be harmful?

It's usually harmless but can be a fire hazard in dryers.

What is lint?

Small fibers from fabrics and textiles.

Where is lint commonly found?

In dryer traps, pockets, and under furniture.

What does lent mean?

Past tense of lend, meaning to give temporarily.

Is lent always about objects?

It can be objects or intangible things like time or effort.

Can you lend services or time?

Yes, like lending expertise or assistance.

What causes lint on clothes?

Friction and wear of fabric fibers.

Can money be lent?

Yes, lending money is a common use of the term.

How do you remove lint?

With lint rollers, brushes, or vacuuming.

Is lent a formal or informal act?

It can be both, depending on the context.

Is lent a legal agreement?

It can be, but often it's informal.

Does lint affect fabric quality?

Excessive lint can indicate wear and tear.

Is lent usually planned or spontaneous?

It can be either, depending on the situation.

How is lent different from a gift?

Lent implies an expectation of return.

What types of fabrics produce more lint?

Loosely woven and fluffy fabrics.

Is lint only from clothing?

Mostly, but it can also come from other textile products

Can lint be recycled?

Not typically, due to its mixed fiber content.

Can lint cause allergies?

Rarely, but it can accumulate dust which might.

Can lent items be replaced?

If agreed upon, they can be replaced or compensated.

Are lint traps important in dryers?

Yes, for efficiency and safety.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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