from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A woman's or child's loosely fitting shirt that extends to the waist or slightly below.
  • noun A loosely fitting garment resembling a long shirt, worn especially by European workmen.
  • noun The service coat or tunic worn by the members of some branches of the US armed forces.
  • intransitive & transitive verb To hang or cause to hang loosely and fully.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A light loose upper garment, made of linen or cotton, worn by men as a protection from dust or in place of a coat. A blue linen blouse is the common dress of French workingmen.
  • noun A loosely fitting dress-body worn by women and children.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A light, loose over-garment, like a smock frock, worn especially by workingmen in France; also, a loose coat of any material, as the undress uniform coat of the United States army.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An outer garment, usually loose, that is similar to a shirt and reaches from the neck to the waist or below. Nowadays, in colloquial use, blouse refers almost always to a woman's shirt that buttons down the front.
  • noun military A loose-fitting uniform jacket.
  • verb To hang a garment in loose folds.
  • verb military To tuck one's pants/trousers (into one's boots).

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

  • noun a top worn by women


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

[French, possibly alteration (influenced by blousse, wool scraps, of Germanic origin) of obsolete French blaude, from Old French bliaut, probably of Germanic origin .]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1828, from French blouse ("a workman's or peasant's smock"), of obscure origin. Perhaps from French blousse ("scraps of wool used mostly for flannel"), from Occitan (lano) blouso ("pure or short (wool)"), from blous, blos ("pure, empty, bare"), from Old High German blōz "naked, bare" (German bloß "bare"), or a conflation of the aforementioned and French blaude, bliaud ("a kind of smock"), from Old French bliau, from Frankish *blīfald (“topcoat of scarlet colour”), from blī- "coloured, bright" + -fald ("crease, fold"). More at blee, fold.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word blouse.



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

  • this and slacks are my least favorite words

    March 27, 2008