1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Shroud
SHROUD (O. Eng. scrud, garment; cf. Icel. skrudh, in the secondary sense of rigging, allied with “shred,” O. Eng. screade, a piece, strip), originally a word meaning garment, clothing or covering, but now particularly applied to the garment in which a dead body is wrapped preparatory to burial, a winding sheet. The shroud is usually a long linen sheet wrapping the entire body. This was formerly dipped in melted wax (Lat. cera), whence the name “cerecloth,” often wrongly written serecloth or searcloth and “cerements.” In nautical usage the Icelandic meaning of skrudh, tackle, rigging of a ship, has been adopted in English; the “shrouds” of a ship are the set of ropes which stretch from the heads of a ship’s masts to the sides as supports (see Rigging).