from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A man's outer garment or overcoat so short that the skirts of the body-coat worn under it were seen: a fashion introduced about 1800.
  • noun A woman's garment introduced a year or two later, and made in direct imitation of the above.
  • noun Nautical, a trapezoidal fore-and-aft sail set abaft the foremast and mainmast; a trysail.

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

  • noun obsolete One who has the care of the spence, or buttery.
  • noun A short jacket worn by men and by women.
  • noun (Naut.) A fore-and-aft sail, abaft the foremast or the mainmast, hoisted upon a small supplementary mast and set with a gaff and no boom; a trysail carried at the foremast or mainmast; -- named after its inventor, Knight Spencer, of England [1802].
  • noun a small mast just abaft the foremast or mainmast, for hoisting the spencer.

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

  • noun A short, close-fitting jacket primarily worn by women and children in the early nineteenth century; probably named after George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758-1834).
  • noun A thin knitted woollen vest.
  • noun A large loose-fitted gaffsail on a square-rigger or barque, used from the nineteenth century onwards.

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

  • noun English philosopher and sociologist who applied the theory of natural selection to human societies (1820-1903)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the family name Spencer.



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  • Also a type of short jacket. See marine spencer and cork-jacket.

    October 12, 2008

  • See this page for more on the type of jacket.

    December 12, 2008

  • "Her top half was clothed in a spencer, whose hardier material hid the curves her sodden dress could not fail to display. The whole shining sinuous length of her tail emerged from her dress below."

    Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, p 305

    November 14, 2015