pet·​ti·​coat | \ ˈpe-tē-ˌkōt How to pronounce petticoat (audio) \

Definition of petticoat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a skirt worn by women, girls, or young children: such as
a : an outer skirt formerly worn by women and small children
b : a fancy skirt made to show below a draped-up overskirt
c : an underskirt usually a little shorter than outer clothing and often made with a ruffled, pleated, or lace edge
d archaic : the skirt of a woman's riding habit
2a : a garment characteristic or typical of women
b : woman
3 : something (such as a valance) resembling a petticoat



Definition of petticoat (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or exercised by women : female

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Other Words from petticoat


petticoated \ ˈpe-​tē-​ˌkō-​təd How to pronounce petticoated (audio) \ adjective

Examples of petticoat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The petticoat went firmly around my waist, and my blouse, tailor made to measure in India, closed in the front like a corset, its short sleeves tight around my underarms. Meara Sharma, Vogue, "Why I Am Taking the Sari Back to the Street," 30 Apr. 2019 Viktor & Rolf Mariage, known for its wearable art-like designs, presented a dramatic taffeta V-neck gown with a petticoat-style skirt in its latest collection inspired by a winter garden. Ivy Manners, New York Times, "What We Saw at New York Bridal Fashion Week," 10 Oct. 2019 And then the score: frilly dresses with petticoats for her and her three older sisters. René A. Guzman,, "Solo Serve opened 100 years ago. San Antonians look back," 11 Oct. 2019 Browne's collection was a confectionery of colors — a Laduree macaron box of pastels in pink, lemon and mint — complete with the cage-like panniers of a petticoat, sometimes sans culotte. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Paris Fashion Week: Cardi B Goes Undercover With Floral Face Mask," 29 Sep. 2019 With suitcases full of handmade dresses, skirt supports, petticoats, corsets and wigs, Taylor Shelby and a group of five friends flew to Venice’s Carnival in February with one goal in mind: to live like 18th-century women of means. Kinsey Gidick, Washington Post, "Some travelers are dressing the part when they visit historic locations," 16 Aug. 2019 The March women wear corsets and bib dresses or petticoats and linen peasant blouses. Vogue, "Thanks to Little Women, The Prairie Dress Trend May Live On Into 2020," 13 Aug. 2019 The costumes were enormous — big skirts, so much petticoat — and trying to cram them into a basement wasn’t working. John Wenzel, The Know, "Look closely at Broadway’s “Anastasia” to see Colorado costume shop Redthreaded," 4 Aug. 2019 Costumes and cumbia music But perhaps their most eye-catching quality is the pollera skirt, a knee-length garment made by extensive pleating of sparkling fabric and further puffed by multiple petticoats beneath. Nell Haynes, The Conversation, "How indigenous women revolutionized Bolivian wrestling," 5 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'petticoat.' 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 petticoat


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1620, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petticoat


Middle English petycote short tunic, petticoat, from pety small + cote coat

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Time Traveler for petticoat

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for petticoat

Last Updated

31 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Petticoat.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for petticoat


How to pronounce petticoat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of petticoat

: a skirt that a woman or girl wears under a dress or outer skirt


pet·​ti·​coat | \ ˈpe-tē-ˌkōt How to pronounce petticoat (audio) \

Kids Definition of petticoat

: a skirt worn under a dress or outer skirt

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More from Merriam-Webster on petticoat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with petticoat

Spanish Central: Translation of petticoat

Nglish: Translation of petticoat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of petticoat for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about petticoat

Comments on petticoat

What made you want to look up petticoat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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