- tissue (n.) mid-14c., "band or belt of rich material," from O.Fr. tissu "a ribbon, headband, belt of woven material" (c.1200), noun use of tissu "woven, interlaced," pp. of tistre "to weave," from L. texere "weave" (see TEXTURE (Cf. texture)). The biological sense is first recorded 1831, from French, introduced c.1800 by French anatomist Marie-François-Xavier Bichal (1771-1802). Tissue-paper is from 1777, supposedly so called because it was made to be placed between tissues to protect them. Meaning "piece of absorbent paper used as a handkerchief" is from 1929.
Etymology dictionary. 2014.