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 petticoat (audio) \ adjective

Examples of petticoat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pleated skirts, floaty organza, and a hot pink petticoat were all a part of his photo shoot wardrobe. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Harry Styles Wears A Dress On the Cover of Vogue, Beautifully Destroying Gender Norms," 13 Nov. 2020 The collection was Giambattista Valli at its finest, with petticoat-like bubble waists, voluminous skirts, and plenty of dresses of the mini variety, most of which include an eye-catching train and a taffeta bow to boot. Eliza Huber,, "Bridal Masks & Taffeta Bows Reign Supreme At Giambattista Valli," 7 July 2020 It's made from a smaller petticoat that came out of a prom dress. Andrea Reeves,, "You have to see the apocalypse outfit this woman wore to the grocery store," 30 Apr. 2020 Little wonder that steampunk fans buy top hats and petticoats, adorn themselves in brass and glass, and flock to steampunk conventions. Nicole Yunger Halpern, Scientific American, "Quantum Steampunk: 19th-Century Science Meets Technology of Today," 18 Apr. 2020 Well, if this was the Victorian era, the girls would have been wearing an elaborate system of bloomers/a chemise, a corset, a hoop, a petticoat, a skirt, and a bodice. Emma Specter, Vogue, "Dressing Little Women: Costume Designer Jacqueline Durran on Color, Character, and Breaking the Rules," 25 Dec. 2019 The cast wore eyelet collars, long hemlines, lace-up boots, and basket bags in America; petticoats, corsets, lace gloves, and satin heels in France. Eliza Huber,, "The Fashion In Little Women Is As Relevant As The Story," 10 Feb. 2020 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Petticoat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for petticoat



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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Comments on petticoat

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