1Designating a breed of small sheep originating in the Isle of Man, characterized by a greyish-brown fleece and the presence of one, two, or three pairs of horns in both rams and ewes.
2Designating the wool obtained from these sheep. Also (of a garment, fabric, etc.): made from or containing this wool.
A sheep of this breed; the breed itself.
Recorded earliest in "Manx loaghtan".
Early 18th century; earliest use found in William Sacheverell (c1664–1715). Probably from Manx loaghtyn dun, greyish-brown, probably reflecting either (i) Early Irish luchdonn (from either luch mouse (of unknown origin) or an unattested cognate of ancient Greek λύκος wolf + donn), or perhaps (ii) Early Irish lachtna (often of garments) grey, dun, perhaps denoting the colour of undyed wool (from lacht milk; cognate with or borrowed from classical Latin lact-, lac see lacto-); compare Scottish Gaelic lachdann dun, tawny, homespun grey.