Definitions

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

  • n. A sturdy, tightly woven fabric of cotton, wool, or rayon twill. Also called gaberdine.
  • n. See gaberdine.
  • n. Chiefly British A laborer's long loose smock; a gaberdine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of woolen cloth with a diagonal ribbed texture on one side.
  • n. A similar fabric, made from cotton
  • n. A gaberdine (garment)
  • n. A yellow robe that Jews in England were compelled to wear in the year 1189 as a mark of distinction

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A coarse frock or loose upper garment formerly worn by Jews; a mean dress.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A long loose cloak or frock, generally coarse, with or without sleeves and a hood, formerly worn by common men out of doors, and distinctively by Jews when their mode of dress was regulated by law; hence, any similar outer garment worn at the present day, especially in Eastern countries.

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

  • n. (usually in the plural) trousers made of flannel or gabardine or tweed or white cloth
  • n. a loose coverall (coat or frock) reaching down to the ankles
  • n. a firm durable fabric with a twill weave

Etymologies

Alteration of gaberdine.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since 1904, altering the earlier gaberdine "long, coarse outer garment" (since 1520), from Spanish gabardina (perhaps influenced by gabán "overcoat" and tabardina "coarse coat"), from Middle French galverdine, itself probably from (Old or Middle) High German wallevart "pilgrimage," in the sense of "pilgrim's cloak" (from wallen 'to ambulate' + vart 'journey') (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • All dolled up in gabardine
    The lash-flashing Leda of pier nineteen
    Queen of the water and queen of the old main drag.

    (Down by the water, by The Decemberists)

    January 19, 2011

  • "She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy. I said be careful, his bowtie is really a camera."

    December 26, 2010

  • Interesting possible origins to this word, according to my OAD widget:
    early 16th c.;

    December 9, 2007

  • Gabardine is smooth on one side and has a diagonally ribbed surface on the other. There were a lot of gabardine trousers worn in the seventies.

    December 9, 2007