Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A wide deep collar, often of lace, that covers the shoulders of a dress.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lace collar that covers the shoulders of a dress

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of collar or cape worn by ladies.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small cape worn by women over the shoulders, usually crossed in front and open at the throat.
  • n. A trimming of lace or of other material in the shape of a small cape worn round the upper edge of a low-necked waist, or in a corresponding position on the body in the case of a high-necked waist.

Etymologies

French berthe, after Bertha (died 783), Carolingian queen as the wife of Pepin the Short.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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