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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 corduroys
Historical Examples
  • Not a dollar did he possess—not even did he have a suit of clothes any more, and wore every day his corduroys.

    The Homesteader Oscar Micheaux
  • Lorraine felt thrills as she hurried into the corduroys, leggings, and smock that had been placed ready for her.

  • Here a man in corduroys and a rabbit-skin waistcoat called in a stentorian voice for order, and the babel gradually died down.

    Despair's Last Journey David Christie Murray
  • Other disguises were resorted to; one of the commonest being to change clothes or to turn your corduroys outside in.

    Auld Licht Idylls J. M. Barrie
  • I shot a swift glance at him as he lay, a rich dark patch of blouse and corduroys at my side.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
  • My host had fixed his feet upon the fender—the unemployed hand was in his corduroys.

  • He wore a gray flannel shirt, corduroys, a big gun swinging low, and top boots reaching to his knees.

  • In the rear seat of the surrey sat two young men wearing broad-brimmed Stetsons, and corduroys.

    Yellowstone Nights Herbert Quick
  • The means of conveyance were wanting half a century since, and few people risk finery of any sort on corduroys.

    Home as Found James Fenimore Cooper
  • At a corner which led into a black hole of a court, a coffee-stand was stationed, in charge of a burly ruffian in corduroys.

    The Dawn of a To-morrow Frances Hodgson Burnett
British Dictionary definitions for corduroys


/ˌkɔːdəˈrɔɪz; ˈkɔːdəˌrɔɪz/
plural noun
trousers or breeches of 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 corduroys



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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