Also called pettiskirt. an underskirt, especially one that is full and often trimmed and ruffled and of a decorative fabric.
any skirtlike part or covering.
a flounce or valance fitting around the sides of a bed, couch, or chair, as to conceal the legs.
Informal: Sometimes Offensive. a woman or girl (usually used facetiously).
Informal: Sometimes Offensive. of, pertaining to, or controlled by women; female; feminine: petticoat government.

1375–1425; late Middle English petycote. See petty, coat

petticoatless, adjective
underpetticoat, noun

In reference to a female, this term is usually used for humorous effect, but is sometimes perceived as insulting or demeaning to women.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
petticoat (ˈpɛtɪˌkəʊt)
1.  a woman's light undergarment in the form of an underskirt or including a bodice supported by shoulder straps
2.  informal
 a.  a humorous or mildly disparaging name for a woman
 b.  (as modifier): petticoat politics
[C15: see petty, coat]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1412, pety coote, lit. "a small coat," from petty + coat. Originally a padded coat worn by men under armor, applied 1464 to a garment worn by women and young children. By 1593, the typical feminine garment, hence a symbol of female sex or character.
"Men declare that the petticoatless female has unsexed herself and has left her modesty behind." ["Godey's Magazine," April 1896]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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