variants or less commonly pretexta
plural praetextae
: a white robe with a purple border originally worn by an ancient Roman magistrate or priest and later by a Roman boy before he assumed the toga virilis or until about the end of his 14th year and by a girl until marriage

Word History


Latin (toga) praetexta, literally, bordered toga, from toga + praetexta, feminine of praetextus bordered, from past participle of praetexere to weave in front, fringe, border

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near praetexta

Cite this Entry

“Praetexta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!