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or negligée, negligé

[neg-li-zhey, neg-li-zhey] /ˌnɛg lɪˈʒeɪ, ˈnɛg lɪˌʒeɪ/
a dressing gown or robe, usually of sheer fabric and having soft, flowing lines, worn by women.
easy, informal attire.
Origin of negligee
1745-55, Americanism; < French négligé carelessness, undress, literally, neglected, past participle of négliger < Latin negligere, variant of neglegere to neglect Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for negligee
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A pair of down-at-heel slippers—dear to the country printer—completed his negligee.

  • Marjorie arose with her customary energy and reached for her negligee.

  • She left the window, filled a tiny basin with precious water, shrugged out of her negligee and sponged her small, perfect body.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • Dudley's negligee shirt was open over his chest which was beaded with sweat.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
  • And Frederick Augustus's negligee talk is no less offensive than his manner of laying loving hands on my person.

  • She was pulling at the long broad blue ribbons of her negligee.

    The Great God Success John Graham (David Graham Phillips)
  • Hurrying to her dressing-room, Joan stepped out of her pretty frock and into a negligee.

    Joan Thursday Louis Joseph Vance
  • The Phelan shoulders and embonpoint, still in negligee, followed.

    Officer 666 Barton W. Currie
British Dictionary definitions for negligee


a woman's light dressing gown, esp one that is lace-trimmed
a thin and revealing woman's nightdress
any informal attire
Word Origin
C18: from French négligée, past participle (fem) of négliger to neglect
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 negligee

1756, "a kind of loose gown worn by women," from French négligée, noun use of fem. past participle of négligier "to neglect" (14c.), from Latin neglegere "to disregard, not heed, not trouble oneself about," also "to make light of" (see neglect (v.)). So called in comparison to the elaborate costume of a fully dressed woman of the period. Borrowed again, 1835; the modern sense "semi-transparent, flimsy, lacy dressing gown" is yet another revival, first recorded 1930. It also was used in the U.S. funeral industry mid-20c. for "shroud of a corpse."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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