from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Spanish-speaking countries, a kind of sandal or low shoe with a hemp or rush sole and cloth upper.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • n. a canvass shoe or sandal

    October 23, 2008

  • Throughout all the Catalan hills

    They're worn by who talks and who tills.

    Though all social strata

    May wear alpargata

    The well-born will say "espadrilles."

    June 10, 2016

  • In the Wordnik 'word of the day' it says: "The word alpargata' may derive from an Arabic word for a kind of sandal." But I wonder if the etymology is closer to espadrille. In online etymology it has: "espadrille (n.) shoe with soles of hemp-rope (originally worn in the Pyrenees), 1892, from French espadrille (17c.), from Provençal espardillo, from Latin spartum "Spanish broom, Spanish grass," a plant of Iberia and North Africa that produced a fiber used to make mats, nets, ropes, etc., from Greek sparton "rope made of spartos" ("Spanish broom"), from PIE *spr-to-, from root *sper- (2) "to turn, twist" (see Sparta)."

    What do you think?

    June 10, 2016

  • It is my understanding that alpargata and espadrille do share ancestry. The Wkipedia entry for Espadrille contains the following:

    The existence of this kind of shoes in Europe is documented since at least 1322, when they appear described for the first time with its current Catalan name.

    The term espadrille is French and derives from the word in the Occitan language, which comes from espardenya, in Catalan or alpargata and esparteña in Castilian/Spanish. Both espardenya and esparteña refer to a type of shoes made with esparto, a tough, wiry Mediterranean grass used in making rope. Its name in the Basque region is espartina.

    June 10, 2016