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[rohb] /roʊb/
a long, loose or flowing gown or outer garment worn by men or women as ceremonial dress, an official vestment, or garb of office.
any long, loose garment, especially one for wear while lounging or preparing to dress, as a bathrobe or dressing gown.
a woman's gown or dress, especially of a more elaborate kind:
a robe for the evening.
robes, apparel in general; dress; costume.
a piece of fur, cloth, knitted work, etc., used as a blanket, covering, or wrap:
a buffalo robe; a lap robe.
verb (used with object), robed, robing.
to clothe or invest with a robe or robes; dress; array.
verb (used without object), robed, robing.
to put on a robe.
Origin of robe
1225-75; Middle English < Old French: orig., spoil, booty < Germanic (akin to rob); compare Old High German roub > German Raub
Related forms
robeless, adjective
rober, noun
underrobe, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for robe
  • He was wearing only boxer shorts, but he didn't reach for his robe.
  • He was wearing a white robe with a brown suède vest and a white crocheted skullcap.
  • We are each wearing our choir robe and carrying an electric candle.
  • The pants don't look good and are definitely only for show-not for wearing under clothing, except a diaphanous robe.
  • Wrapping their politics in the robe of science is disgusting.
  • Everyone instantly stopped talking, wanting to know what a robe-on was.
  • One could do without the mandatory meetings and robe rending.
  • After she dried off, she put on a blue velour robe that was hanging behind the door.
  • My slinky sorceress' robe will have a chain mail foundation garment, at minimum.
  • The figure was made of carved wood and wore an ermine-trimmed robe, loose trousers, and a turban.
British Dictionary definitions for robe


any loose flowing garment, esp the official vestment of a peer, judge, or academic
a dressing gown or bathrobe
(Austral, informal) a wardrobe
to put a robe, etc, on (oneself or someone else); dress
Word Origin
C13: from Old French: of Germanic origin; compare Old French rober to rob, Old High German roub booty
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 robe

"long, loose outer garment," late 13c., from Old French robe "long, loose outer garment" (12c.), from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German rouba "vestments"), from West Germanic *raubo "booty" (cf. Old High German roub "robbery, breakage"), which also yielded rob (v.).

Presumably the notion is of garments taken from the enemy as spoils, and the Old French word had a secondary sense of "plunder, booty," while Germanic cognates had both senses; e.g. Old English reaf "plunder, booty, spoil; garment, armor, vestment." Meaning "dressing gown" is from 1854. Metonymic sense of "the legal profession" is attested from 1640s.


late 14c., from robe (n.). Related: Robed; robing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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