Definitions

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

  • n. A support, such as a hoop, worn beneath a skirt to extend it horizontally from the waist, used by European women in the 16th and 17th centuries.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hooped structure in cloth worn to extend the skirt of women's dresses; a hooped petticoat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hoop skirt or hoop petticoat, or other light, elastic material, used to extend the petticoat.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A contrivance for extending the skirts of women's dresses, resembling the modern hooped skirt and made of ribs of whalebone run into a cloth foundation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a hoop worn beneath a skirt to extend it horizontally; worn by European women in the 16th and 17th centuries

Etymologies

Alteration of obsolete verdynggale, from Old French verdugale, from Old Spanish verdugado, from verdugo, stick, shoot of a tree, from verde, green, from Latin viridis, from virēre, to be green.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French verdugale, from Spanish verdugado, from verdugo ("rod"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I stare at them as I am laced into my corset and hoop-skirted farthingale.

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • Catherine Seyton presently exclaimed, “They were bearing the dishes across the court, marshalled by the Lady Lochleven herself, dressed out in her highest and stiffest ruff, with her partlet and sleeves of cyprus, and her huge old-fashioned farthingale of crimson velvet.”

    The Abbot

  • “I believe on my word,” said the page, approaching the window also, “it was in that very farthingale that she captivated the heart of gentle King Jamie, which procured our poor Queen her precious bargain of a brother.”

    The Abbot

  • We did not disdain the word in farthingale = pet en air.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • “Would you have your fair greyhound, dear lady, grow up a tall and true Cotswold dog, that can pull down a stag of ten, or one of those smooth-skinned poppets which the Florence ladies lead about with a ring of bells round its neck, and a flannel farthingale over its loins?”

    Westward Ho!

  • A bell with an old voice — which I dare say in its time had often said to the house, Here is the green farthingale, Here is the diamond – hilted sword, Here are the shoes with red heels and the blue solitaire — sounded gravely in the moonlight, and two cherry – colored maids came fluttering out to receive Estella.

    Great Expectations

  • She could feel underclothes, linen drawers, silken chemise, a farthingale with its stiffened hoops.

    Ill Met By Moonlight

  • The Marie Antoinette-styled skirt (think farthingale hips and a little bustle in the bum) had a train and was beaded with crystals as well.

    qdiosa Diary Entry

  • Persons of fashion had, by the way, the advantage formerly of being better distinguished from the vulgar than at present; for, what the ancient farthingale and more modern hoop were to court ladies, the sword was to the gentleman; an article of dress, which only rendered those ridiculous who assumed it for the nonce, without being in the habit of wearing it.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • But trusting in my practice and study of the art, I resolved to try a back with him; and when my arms were round him once, the giant was but a farthingale put into the vice of a blacksmith.

    Lorna Doone

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Its scales rose to form a stiff, brilliantly colored armor, a farthingale glimmering every shade of violet and green."
    "Hungerford Bridge" by Elizabeth Hand: p 122 of Errantry: Strange Stories

    April 28, 2013

  • Takes the form of a coarse linen underskirt stretched over iron wire to support the skirts. Also known as a vertugardin or in Spain as a guard-infanta

    October 12, 2008

  • hoop skirt, Tudor ancestor of the 19th century crinoline

    October 6, 2007