To moisten or soak (flax, for example) in order to soften and separate the fibers by partial rotting.
To become so moistened or soaked.
To moisten or soak (flax, hemp, jute, etc) to promote bacterial action in order to facilitate separation of the fibres from the woody tissue by beating
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
www.Collinsdictionary.com (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016