Definitions

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

  • noun A short overskirt or ruffle attached at the waistline of a jacket, blouse, or dress.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In recent use, a long and pointed overskirt draped over the underskirt of a dress, slightly in the fashion of the ancient Greek robe.
  • noun In anc. Gr. Costume, a himation or upper garment, in shape like a voluminous shawl, worn by women, thrown over one arm and thence wrapped in various ways, according to individual taste, around the body, sometimes even drawn over the head.

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

  • noun A peplos. Hence: An overskirt hanging like an ancient peplos; also, a short fitted skirt attached to a waist or coat.

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

  • noun A peplos, an Ancient Greek garment formed of a tubular piece of cloth, which is folded back upon itself halfway down, until the top of the tube is worn around the waist, and the bottom covers the legs down to the ankles; the open top is then worn over the shoulders, and draped, in folds, down to the waist; compare the Roman palla.
  • noun A veil.
  • noun A genre of Italian film featuring historical or biblical epics
  • noun An individual film in this genre

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

  • noun a flared ruffle attached to the waistline of a dress or jacket or blouse
  • noun a garment worn by women in ancient Greece; cloth caught at the shoulders and draped in folds to the waist

Etymologies

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

[Latin, robe of state, from Greek peplon, neuter of peplos, peplos.]

Examples

  • A peplum is a short flounce added to the waist of a dress or jacket.

    "Make It Yourself": Home Sewing, Gender, and Culture, 1890-1930

  • In a season marked by all manner of flounces and frills, the peplum was a standout.

    NYT > Home Page

  • In a season marked by all manner of flounces and frills, the peplum was a standout.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Double-skirted mini dresses, otherwise known as peplum dresses, were all the rage back in the 80s and made an appearance at the beginning of this season, but they aren't going to be disappearing in a hurry.

    My Fashion Life

  • Double-skirted mini dresses, otherwise known as peplum dresses, were all the rage back in the 80s and made an appearance at the beginning of this season, but they aren't going to be disappearing in a hurry.

    My Fashion Life

  • This site spells 'peplum' at least two different ways, and talks about flounces "ascending down dress back."

    Just two questions (okay, maybe three) - A Dress A Day

  • This site spells 'peplum' at least two different ways, and talks about flounces "ascending down dress back."

    May 2007

  • I find this synonym less cumbersome than "sword-and-sandal" and more manly than "peplum," the more compact term assigned to this genre by the French, and I naturally bow to its Italian provenance.

    Archive 2006-06-25

  • I find this synonym less cumbersome than "sword-and-sandal" and more manly than "peplum," the more compact term assigned to this genre by the French, and I naturally bow to its Italian provenance.

    THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII reviewed

  • The same goes for my 1990s peplum jackets from Thierry Mugler .

    Achieving Timeless Fashion

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