noun, often attributive
\ ˈā-prən How to pronounce apron (audio) , -pərn \

Definition of apron

1 : a garment usually of cloth, plastic, or leather usually tied around the waist and used to protect clothing or adorn a costume
2 : something that suggests or resembles an apron in shape, position, or use: such as
a : the lower member under the sill of the interior casing of a window
b : an upward or downward vertical extension of a bathroom fixture (such as a sink or tub)
c : an endless belt for carrying material
d : an extensive fan-shaped deposit of detritus
e : the part of the stage in front of the proscenium arch
f : the area along the waterfront edge of a pier or wharf
g : a shield (as of concrete or gravel) to protect against erosion (as of a waterway) by water
h : the extensive paved part of an airport immediately adjacent to the terminal area or hangars

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Other Words from apron

aproned \ ˈā-​prənd How to pronounce aproned (audio) , -​pərnd \ adjective

Did You Know?

In medieval French, a diminutive form of nape, meaning “tablecloth,” was naperon, which referred to a small cloth that is placed over a more elegant tablecloth to protect it from stains. This word appears in English of the 14th century as napron and also denoted a protective cloth, but one that was placed over clothing rather than on a table. Because in speech it is often difficult to tell where word boundaries fall, a napron was incorrectly understood to be an apron. The new form apron effectively replaced napron by the 17th century, which completely obscured the etymological relation of apron to napkin, the name of another protective cloth.

Examples of apron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On the sidewalk down the street was a taco stand where a man in a soiled apron was chopping raw chicken on a table. Seth Harp, Harper's Magazine, "In Harm’s Way," 27 Apr. 2020 On the sidewalk down the street was a taco stand where a man in a soiled apron was chopping raw chicken on a table. Seth Harp, Harper's magazine, "In Harm’s Way," 2 Mar. 2020 The fracas began with an Instagram post Goulding shared Tuesday showing the singer in a red apron volunteering with the charity. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Ellie Goulding threatens to quit Thanksgiving NFL game; Salvation Army says she's a go," 14 Nov. 2019 Sebastián Hidalgo Children in color-coded aprons stream in and out of a building on a backstreet in Woodlawn. Sebastián Hidalgo, Chicago Reader, "How Woodlawn kids are learning to fix bikes—and become leaders," 21 June 2018 Who knew our collective instinct would be to tie on an apron and reach for the flour? Bonnie Mccarthy, Los Angeles Times, "In these trying times, my sourdough starter is a mundane miracle," 15 Apr. 2020 However, the 22,000-pound presidential limousines remained on the inside of the track below the apron and did not go up the track’s banking. Michelle R. Martinelli, USA TODAY, "President Trump delivers the command to start the Daytona 500 to loud cheers," 16 Feb. 2020 Shortfalls in personal protective equipment, or PPE, have forced some doctors and nurses in the U.K. to purchase their own gloves, masks, eye protection and aprons to guard against infection. NBC News, "Doctors in Britain battling coronavirus pandemic call for government help," 1 Apr. 2020 New drive aprons and street lighting will also be added. Laura Bednar, cleveland, "Construction projects in Independence continue into new year," 26 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apron.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of apron

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for apron

Middle English, alteration (resulting from false division of a napron) of napron, from Middle French naperon, diminutive of nape cloth, modification of Latin mappa napkin

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Time Traveler for apron

Time Traveler

The first known use of apron was in the 15th century

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Statistics for apron

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apron.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apron. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for apron


How to pronounce apron (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of apron

: a piece of clothing that is worn on the front of the body over clothes to keep them from getting dirty
: the part of a stage that is in front of the curtain
: the paved part of an airport where airplanes load or unload or are turned around


\ ˈā-prən How to pronounce apron (audio) \

Kids Definition of apron

1 : a piece of cloth worn on the front of the body to keep clothing from getting dirty
2 : a paved area for parking or handling airplanes

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More from Merriam-Webster on apron

Spanish Central: Translation of apron

Nglish: Translation of apron for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apron for Arabic Speakers

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