Definitions

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

  • n. A loose outer coat or gown.
  • n. A tunic worn in the Middle Ages by a knight over his armor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A loose garment without sleeves worn over a suit of armor, sometimes colored or embroidered with the wearer's coat of arms

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A coat worn over the other garments; especially, the long and flowing garment of knights, worn over the armor, and frequently emblazoned with the arms of the wearer.
  • n. A name given to the outer garment of either sex at different epochs of the Middle Ages.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An outer garment.
  • n. A garment formerly worn by women in its most familiar form, a jacket reaching only to the hips, and often trimmed with fur, which formed an important part of costume in the fifteenth century.

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

  • n. a loose outer coat usually of rich material
  • n. a tunic worn over a knight's armor

Etymologies

Middle English surcote, from Old French : sur-, sur- + cote, coat; see coat.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French surcote, formed with sur ("over") and cote ("coat, robe, tunic, overgarment") respelled coat. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This surcoat is made like a crémeau, but it completely covers the back and shoulders.

    The Heptameron of Margaret, Queen of Navarre

  • The stranger wore the unidentifiable and ragged remains of a shirt and trousers, and a kind of surcoat cut out of animal skins that had been tacked together with thongs of sinew.

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin

  • Each one wore a kind of surcoat made of the skin of the elk, reaching from his neck to his knees, and answering the purpose of a shirt of mail, for it was arrow proof, and could even resist a musket ball at the distance of ninety yards.

    Astoria, or Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains

  • Each one wore a kind of surcoat made of the skin of the elk, reaching from his neck to his knees, and answering the purpose of

    Astoria, or, anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains

  • I think it'd be incredibly difficult to actually say much of anything about the mini's proportional rendition of Brienne, what with the armor, the baggy surcoat, the twisting of the body, etc.

    Here's Brienne

  • Fashion historian Valerie Steele says uniforms have been made to distinguish troops from the enemy since knights in the Middle Ages wore a cloth surcoat over their chainmail, decorated with the crest of their king.

    Military Chic During Wartime? Yes, Sir!

  • Instead of the many-pocketed and well-worn vest that he favored, he had donned a black surcoat embroidered with gold, over a snowy silk shirt.

    End of Time

  • Centuries ago, a man's "signature" was the sign he marked on his shield and on the surcoat of his armor, which explains "coat of arms."

    Margie Goldsmith: Royal Wedding Fever - Bespoke Style

  • The king elegant in a soft grey surcoat is relaxed and encourages an informal court.

    Exit the Actress

  • Teddy reported that the king wore lavish lace cuffs, a long, narrow rhubarb-pink-striped waistcoat, high-heeled court shoes with wired grosgrain ribbon quel glamour—Teddy swooned, and a knee-length embroidered surcoat, which he removed immediately and slung on the back of a chair.

    Exit the Actress

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