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[blous, blouz] /blaʊs, blaʊz/
a usually lightweight, loose-fitting garment for women and children, covering the body from the neck or shoulders more or less to the waistline, with or without a collar and sleeves, worn inside or outside a skirt, slacks, etc.
a single-breasted, semifitted military jacket.
a loose outer garment, reaching to the hip or thigh, or below the knee, and sometimes belted.
Compare smock frock.
verb (used without object), bloused, blousing.
to puff out in a drooping fullness, as a blouse above a fitted waistband.
verb (used with object), bloused, blousing.
to dispose the material of a garment in loose folds, as trouser legs over the tops of boots.
Origin of blouse
1820-30; < French, perhaps from the phrase *vêtement de laine blouse garment of short (i.e., uncarded, pure) wool; compare Provençal (lano) blouso pure (wool) < Old High German blōz naked, cognate with Old English bleat poor, miserable
Related forms
blouselike, adjective
unbloused, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blouse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her Sam Brown belt buried itself in her blouse, as though failing to meet the resistance of a body underneath the cloth.

    The Enemies of Women Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • "That's better," said Kingozi, and began clumsily to rebutton her blouse.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • "We have such a time with meals—never can get folks together," said Cleo, hastily jumping in to her blouse and skirt.

  • Hilary grinned as he slipped the weapon back into his blouse.

    Slaves of Mercury Nat Schachner
  • Anyuta put down her sewing, took off her blouse, and straightened herself up.

British Dictionary definitions for blouse


a woman's shirtlike garment made of cotton, nylon, etc
a loose-fitting smocklike garment, often knee length and belted, worn esp by E European peasants
a loose-fitting waist-length belted jacket worn by soldiers
to hang or make so as to hang in full loose folds
Word Origin
C19: from French, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blouse

1828 (from 1822 as a French word in English), from French blouse, "workman's or peasant's smock" (1788), origin unknown. Perhaps akin to Provençal (lano) blouso "short (wool)" [Gamillscheg]. Another suggestion [Klein] is that it is from Medieval Latin pelusia, from Pelusium, a city in Upper Egypt, supposedly a clothing manufacturing center in the Middle Ages.

In Paris, a very slovenly, loose, drawn frock, with most capacious sleeves, had been introduced called a blouse. Some of our priestesses of the toilet seemed emulous of copying this deshabille, with some slight alterations, but we never wish to see it on the symmetrical form of a British lady. ["Summary of Fashion for 1822," in "Museum of Foreign Literature and Science," Jan.-June 1823]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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