far·​thin·​gale ˈfär-t͟hən-ˌgāl How to pronounce farthingale (audio)
: a support (as of hoops) worn especially in the 16th century beneath a skirt to expand it at the hipline

Examples of farthingale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nevertheless, panniers, or hooped petticoats undergirding the hips, and their 16th- and 17th-century relatives, farthingales, stepped out of the history books and onto the spring runways. Véronique Hyland, ELLE, 21 Mar. 2023 Heavily influenced by key members of the English royal court, Tudor style is distinguished for its square neckline and structured bodices, as well as the Spanish farthingale, a conical undergarment that gave volume to skirts. Frances Solá-Santiago, refinery29.com, 23 Sep. 2021 The photograph showcases Diana in traditional Elizabethan dress, including a full skirt with a farthingale underneath and a high starched collar, a more casual version of a ruff. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 5 Sep. 2019 Freed from the hassle of manipulating doublets and farthingales, the performers can move naturally and easily. James Jorden, New York Times, 11 Aug. 2017 The bright and complex costumes, with some characters in apparel like Elizabethan farthingales, are equally picturesque. Alastair MacAulay, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'farthingale.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


modification of Middle French verdugale, from Old Spanish verdugado, from verdugo young shoot of a tree, from verde green, from Latin viridis — more at verdant

First Known Use

1552, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of farthingale was in 1552

Dictionary Entries Near farthingale

Cite this Entry

“Farthingale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farthingale. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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