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shirt·​sleeve ˈshərt-ˌslēv How to pronounce shirtsleeve (audio)
: the sleeve of a shirt


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variants or less commonly shirtsleeves or shirtsleeved
: being without a coat
a shirtsleeve spectator
: calling for the removal of coats for the sake of comfort or efficiency
shirtsleeve weather
: marked by informality and directness
shirtsleeve diplomacy
in one's shirtsleeves or in shirtsleeves
: wearing a shirt but no coat

Examples of shirtsleeve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
After all, who doesn’t want to stretch their shirtsleeves? Men's Health, 9 Mar. 2023 The food writer in me tugged at my shirtsleeve. Betsy Andrews, Travel + Leisure, 1 Mar. 2021 Khan pulled up a shirtsleeve to show the panel scars from shackles on his wrists., 6 Nov. 2021 Traffic God was operated by a fleet of men in shirtsleeves and green visors who frequently commented to one another on the perfection of Micah’s driving. New York Times, 7 Apr. 2020 The man in the shirtsleeves was prepared to shadowbox to the death. Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2019 Back in Iowa, Castro’s still shivering in his shirtsleeves. Lissandra Villa/cedar Falls, Time, 31 Oct. 2019 In one of the closest towns, Kulusuk, the morning temperature reached a shirtsleeve 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Seth Borenstein, The Denver Post, 21 Aug. 2019
The tent protects Webb from dust and dirt when engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., transport the telescope out of the relatively dust-free cleanroom and into the shirtsleeve environment of the vibration and acoustics testing areas. Denise Chow, NBC News, 24 Dec. 2021 New Year’s brought shirtsleeve weather to the U.S. East and record high temperatures to Europe as the Northern Hemisphere on Wednesday was more than 2.6 degrees (1.4 degrees Celsius) hotter than the late 20th century average. Time, 5 Jan. 2023 They are often described in colorful, shirtsleeve terms: For most anglers a hand-size bluegill (6 to 9 inches, roughly, depending the size of one’s had) would be a keeper fish. Gary Garth, USA TODAY, 25 May 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use


1530, in the meaning defined above


1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of shirtsleeve was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near shirtsleeve

Cite this Entry

“Shirtsleeve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the sleeve of a shirt
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