shirt·​waist ˈshərt-ˌwāst How to pronounce shirtwaist (audio)
: a woman's tailored garment (such as a blouse or dress) with details copied from men's shirts

Examples of shirtwaist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first display greeting viewers showcases three shirtwaists embroidered with the names of three women who perished in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 7 Sep. 2023 An opening scene shows Gold swapping her designer dress with a refugee’s dirty shirtwaist to allow the woman to blend more easily into society. Valli Herman, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2023 Despite the prim shirtwaist dresses on her characters, the playwright wasn’t talking about a distant past. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 8 May 2022 But her shirtwaist of wool-silk weave, mantled in white cotton, is 1870 Shaker. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, 15 May 2022 Those workers persisted, though: women formed strike committees in the mid-19th century, and carried out reforms in the garment industry following both a 1909 strike and the 1911 Triangle shirtwaist factory fire. Julianne McShane, New York Times, 29 Aug. 2019 Holding hands, the terrifying Grady twins from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining strolled by in shirtwaist dresses printed with childlike drawings of girls faces and pastel Mary Jane heels. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 June 2019 Triangle, which was New York’s largest blouse factory and distributed 2,000 shirtwaist garments a day, was one of the lone holdouts to union recognition. Elizabeth Yuan, WSJ, 23 Jan. 2019 The 1957-58 shirtwaist of shot-silk—bronze roses on black—has a tight bodice that buttons up like a bishop’s soutane and a skirt that flares out from a crow’s murder of small tucks. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, 10 Nov. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shirtwaist.' 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

1871, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shirtwaist was in 1871

Dictionary Entries Near shirtwaist

Cite this Entry

“Shirtwaist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


shirt·​waist -ˌwāst How to pronounce shirtwaist (audio)
: a woman's tailored garment (as a dress or blouse) with details copied from men's shirts

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