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[kawr-duh-roi, kawr-duh-roi] /ˈkɔr dəˌrɔɪ, ˌkɔr dəˈrɔɪ/
a cotton-filling pile fabric with lengthwise cords or ridges.
corduroys, trousers made of this fabric.
of, relating to, or resembling corduroy.
constructed of logs laid together transversely, as a road across swampy ground.
verb (used with object)
to form (a road or the like) by laying logs transversely.
to make a corduroy road across or along.
Origin of corduroy
1780-90; perhaps cord (cf. cords) + duroy, deroy (now obsolete) a woolen fabric originating in W England; later taken as French cord du roy the king's cords, though the fabric had no connection with France Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for corduroy
Historical Examples
  • To-day she was wearing a corduroy dress of a gold some shades grayer than the gold of her hair.

  • I should never have known him, dressed in corduroy, and with a rake over his shoulder.

    Out in the Forty-Five Emily Sarah Holt
  • The commencement of the journey from the farm of disembarkation lay along what is known as corduroy boards.

    Bullets & Billets Bruce Bairnsfather
  • His trousers were corduroy, his coat short-sleeved, with buttons in the middle of his back.

  • Occasional teeth-rattling stretches of "corduroy" led through a swamp.

    The Rules of the Game Stewart Edward White
  • More like a brick-layer than a bard,—and his garments are corduroy!

  • The solid body of our troops on the corduroy bridge were huddling together like sheep in a storm.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • "Low girls," came the reply from the two in sweaters and corduroy skirts.

    Jane Allen: Center Edith Bancroft
  • Later on we found some corduroy bridges that the hay-makers had put over the ditches.

    Three Times and Out Nellie L. McClung
  • Much of the way we were obliged to corduroy the roads for the trains.

British Dictionary definitions for corduroy


/ˈkɔːdəˌrɔɪ; ˌkɔːdəˈrɔɪ/
  1. a heavy cotton pile fabric with lengthways ribs
  2. (as modifier): a corduroy coat
See also corduroys
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from the proper name Corderoy
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 corduroy

1780, probably from cord + obsolete 17c. duroy, name of a coarse fabric made in England, of unknown origin. Folk etymology is from *corde du roi "the king's cord," but this is not attested in French, where the term for the cloth was velours à côtes. Applied in U.S. to a road of logs across swampy ground (1780s) on similarity of appearance.

CORDUROY ROAD. A road or causeway constructed with logs laid together over swamps or marshy places. When properly finished earth is thrown between them by which the road is made smooth; but in newly settled parts of the United States they are often left uncovered, and hence are extremely rough and bad to pass over with a carriage. Sometimes they extend many miles. They derive their name from their resemblance to a species of ribbed velvet, called corduroy. [Bartlett]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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