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

  • adj. Resembling a leg of mutton in shape; tapering sharply from one large end to a point or smaller end, as a sleeve or sail.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the general shape or outline of a leg of mutton.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Then I removed the sprit, tightly hauling down the peak of the sail, and we raced along under what sailors call a leg-of-mutton.

    Chapter 27

  • Shortly he will be setting a tiny leg-of-mutton and steering with an oar.


  • You can follow the evolution of such once-tr endy things as the cage-crinoline (or hoop); the bustle; the 22-inch-waist corset; the high, breast-revealing Empire waisted dress; and the leg-of-mutton sleeve.

    Nice Wing, Pity About the Art

  • She was dressed in traditional Victorian bustle and leg-of-mutton sleeves.

    Brush of Darkness

  • She is an immaculately dressed despot with a languorous voice and tiny white buttons along the cuffs of her black, leg-of-mutton sleeves.

    The House of Bernarda Alba – review

  • It features a distinct "leg-of-mutton" sleeve, which is puffy at the shoulder and tapered at the wrist.

    Copy Protection for Fall Fashion

  • If they would have a leg-of-mutton and an apple-pudding, and a glass of sherry and port (or simple brandy-and-water called by its own name) after dinner, all would be very well; but they must shine, they must dine as their neighbors.

    The Fitz-Boodle Papers

  • How fine it was, a sprigged muslin of rich green and gold, with leg-of-mutton sleeves puffed at the shoulder and tapered down the arms.

    The Lightkeeper

  • She posed slightly for him, aware the high neck and leg-of-mutton sleeves gave a touch of sophistication while the back exposed a large triangular area of bare skin.

    The Glory Game

  • The portraits of the present day are not disfigured by the towering head-gear, the long waists and hoops against which Reynolds had to contend, nor by the greater variety of hideous fashions, including the no-waist, the tight clinging skirt, the enormous bows of hair, and the balloon or leg-of-mutton sleeves, which at various periods interfered with the highest efforts of Lawrence.

    The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851

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