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[pin-uh-fawr, -fohr] /ˈpɪn əˌfɔr, -ˌfoʊr/
a child's apron, usually large enough to cover the dress and sometimes trimmed with flounces.
a woman's sleeveless garment derived from it, low-necked, tying or buttoning in the back, and worn as an apron or as a dress, usually over a blouse, a sweater, or another dress.
Chiefly British.
  1. a large apron worn by adults.
  2. a sleeveless smock.
Origin of pinafore
1775-85; pin + afore Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pinafore
Historical Examples
  • Georgiana slipped off her pinafore, and Stuart, who had insisted on waiting for her, hung it upon its accustomed nail.

    Under the Country Sky Grace S. Richmond
  • "Give it to me," cried the Prince; and reaching after it, he hid it under his pinafore.

    The Little Lame Prince Dinah Maria Mulock
  • Then, very quietly, she took off her own pinafore, and stole across the room and listened at Gaga's door.

    Coquette Frank Swinnerton
  • But it looked to me like a child's pinafore, greatly enlarged.

    Gossamer George A. Birmingham
  • Tom found her there, drying and smearing her face with an earthy corner of her pinafore.

  • But a young man of nineteen ought not to be attached to his mother's pinafore!

    The Silver Lining John Roussel
  • Miss Summers abruptly rolled up her work at this unsympathetic remark, and took off her pinafore.

    Coquette Frank Swinnerton
  • The 'pinafore' announcement was for the edification of the New Londoners.

    A Pirate of Parts Richard Neville
  • And just look at that pinafore, that was put on you clean this morning, and now it is all over dirt!

    The Black Cat John Todhunter
  • Then why don't you substitute something in place of 'pinafore?'

    A Pirate of Parts Richard Neville
British Dictionary definitions for pinafore


(mainly Brit) an apron, esp one with a bib
(mainly Brit) short for pinafore dress
(mainly US) an overdress buttoning at the back
Word Origin
C18: from pin + afore
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 pinafore

"sleeveless apron worn by children," 1782, from pin (v.) + afore "on the front." So called because it was originally pinned to a dress front.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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