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[peyn-wahr, pen-, peyn-wahr, pen-] /peɪnˈwɑr, pɛn-, ˈpeɪn wɑr, ˈpɛn-/
a woman's dressing gown.
a cloak or gown of terry cloth for wear after swimming or, especially in France, after the bath.
Origin of peignoir
1825-35; < French: literally, comber, i.e., something worn while one's hair is being combed, equivalent to peign(er) to comb (< Late Latin pectināre; see pecten) + -oir < Latin -ōrium -ory1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for peignoir
Historical Examples
  • Signora Varsini was in the latter, dressed in a peignoir, and sitting in an arm-chair, supported by cushions.

    Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Ma'ame Plagie had been sitting beside the bed in her peignoir and slippers.

    Bayou Folk Kate Chopin
  • Madame Leonie then extended her shapely bare arm out of her peignoir, pointing dramatically at the divan.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • Then she scrambled into some clothes and a peignoir, and went straight to his bedside.

    It Never Can Happen Again William De Morgan
  • In response to his confusing summons, she stumbled to her peignoir and slipped it on.

    The Price of Love Arnold Bennett
  • Had I a palette I could match the blue of the peignoir with the faint grey sky.

  • Each time he saw a woman in her peignoir or kimono he felt as though he had committed a sacrilege.

    The Voice in the Fog Harold MacGrath
  • Perhaps the most striking portion of the scenery was Helen's peignoir.

  • So I had to put on her peignoir, and tidy her up, and arrange her hair just as I have done.

  • She started to dress again, and got as far advanced as to remove her peignoir.

British Dictionary definitions for peignoir


a woman's dressing gown or negligee
Word Origin
C19: from French, from peigner to comb, since the garment was worn while the hair was combed
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 peignoir

"lady's loose robe," 1835, from French peignoir, from Middle French peignouoir "garment worn over the shoulders while combing the hair" (16c.), from peigner "to comb the hair," from Latin pectinare, from pecten (genitive pectinis) "a comb," related to pectere "to comb" (see fight (v.)). A gown put on while coming from the bath; misapplied in English to a woman's morning gown.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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