Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long, pointed toe of a shoe, a style fashionable in the 14th and 15th centuries
  • n. a shoe in such a style.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A long pointed shoe. See cracowes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A long, pointed shoe worn in the fourteenth century. See cracow.

Etymologies

From Anglo-Norman poleine and Middle French poulaine. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Bonne-Renommée, the flagship, was a vessel of 120 or 150 tons, and about ninety feet long overall, including her great poulaine, or prow, which projected forward under the bowsprit.

    Champlain's Dream

  • Go up into the town, and buy for me white bread of the best; and right good flesh, or poulaine if it may be, already cooked and dight; and, withal, the best wine that thou mayst get, and sweetmeats for thy baby; and when thou comest back, we will sit together and dine here.

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • Translated into armor, the poulaine fad became downright dangerous: Austrian knights at the battle of Sempach in 1386 were riveted to the spot by their elongated iron shoes and were forced to strike off the points with their swords or be caught flat-footed, so to speak.

    Futures Imperfect

  • Originating in Poland (hence poulaine; the English called them crackowes after Cracow), or more logically brought back from the Middle East by Crusaders, they became the craze at all the European courts.

    Futures Imperfect

  • A red chaperon or cap, with long hanging cornette, sat daintily on the back of his black-curled head, while his gold-hued shoes were twisted up a la poulaine, as though the toes were shooting forth a tendril which might hope in time to entwine itself around his massive leg.

    The White Company

  • A red chaperon or cap, with long hanging cornette, sat daintily on the back of his black-curled head, while his gold-hued shoes were twisted up _a la poulaine_, as though the toes were shooting forth a tendril which might hope in time to entwine itself around his massive leg.

    The White Company

  • A red chaperon or cap, with long hanging cornette, sat daintily on the back of his black-curled head, while his gold-hued shoes were twisted up à la poulaine, as though the toes were shooting forth a tendril which might hope in time to entwine itself around his massive leg.

    The White Company

  • "In the tenth century," according to Dufour (_Histoire de la Prostitution_, vol. VI., p. 11), "shoes _a la poulaine_, with a claw or beak, pursued for more than four centuries by the anathemas of popes and the invectives of preachers, were always regarded by mediæval casuists as the most abominable emblems of immodesty.

    Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 Erotic Symbolism; The Mechanism of Detumescence; The Psychic State in Pregnancy

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