mid-14c., "band or belt of rich material," from Old French tissu "a ribbon, headband, belt of woven material" (c. 1200), noun use of tissu "woven, interlaced," past participle of tistre "to weave," from Latin texere "to weave, to make," from PIE root *teks- "to weave," also "to fabricate." The biological sense is first recorded 1831, from French, introduced c. 1800 by French anatomist Marie-François-Xavier Bichal (1771-1802). Meaning "piece of absorbent paper used as a handkerchief" is from 1929. Tissue-paper is from 1777, supposedly so called because it was made to be placed between tissues to protect them.
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