Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having no sleeves; without sleeves: noting a garment.
  • Imperfect; inadequate; fruitless; unprofitable; bootless.

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

  • adjective Having no sleeves.
  • adjective obsolete Wanting a cover, pretext, or palliation; unreasonable; profitless; bootless; useless.

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

  • adjective Of a garment, having no sleeves.
  • adjective obsolete Wanting a cover, pretext, or palliation; unreasonable; profitless; useless.

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

  • adjective having no sleeves
  • adjective unproductive of success

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

sleeve +‎ -less

Examples

  • Just as the train pulled out of the station, two really buff young men in what I call sleeveless undershirts and the younger generation calls "wife beaters" turned on a boom box and began dancing and performing acrobatics as the train roared past the local stations.

    Stephanie Gertler: The Masses

  • Just as the train pulled out of the station, two really buff young men in what I call sleeveless undershirts and the younger generation calls "wife beaters" turned on a boom box and began dancing and performing acrobatics as the train roared past the local stations.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Just as the train pulled out of the station, two really buff young men in what I call sleeveless undershirts and the younger generation calls "wife beaters" turned on a boom box and began dancing and performing acrobatics as the train roared past the local stations.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Some Afghan websites published photographs purportedly showing alcohol and dancing women in sleeveless dresses at an embassy party during the abstemious Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

    Recalled Afghan Ambassador Not Going Back, Criticizes Karzai And Obama

  • Some Afghan websites published photographs purportedly showing alcohol and dancing women in sleeveless dresses at an embassy party during the abstemious Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

    Recalled Afghan Ambassador Not Going Back, Criticizes Karzai And Obama

  • Some Afghan websites published photographs purportedly showing alcohol and dancing women in sleeveless dresses at an embassy party during the abstemious Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

    Recalled Afghan Ambassador Not Going Back, Criticizes Karzai And Obama

  • I order my belle-mère, who responds with one of the many moxey mouthing offs that she carries up her stubborn sleeve, even in sleeveless summertime:

    troisième age - French Word-A-Day

  • A cluster of giggling youths dressed in short, sleeveless tunics scurried into the hall.

    Spirit Gate

  • I don’t think I would have begun this training regimen had I not been bombarded with constant images of Michelle Obama in sleeveless dresses and blouses waving at the adoring voters who visit her husband’s rallies.

    In Training | The Stiletto Gang

  • He's not wearing anything sleeveless, which is good for him.

    CNN Transcript Aug 6, 2003

Comments

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  • A pyramid word.

    May 23, 2008

  • (adjective) - As the meaning of the expression, "to sleeve a two," appears plainly to be to twist or fold silk thread so subtle that it is difficult to untwist it, sleeveless then should seem to mean "that which cannot be unfolded or explained." --John Brand's Observations on Popular Antiquities, 1813

    April 23, 2018