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  1. a costume for women, advocated about 1850 by Amelia Jenks Bloomer, consisting of a short skirt, loose trousers gathered and buttoned at the ankle, and often a coat and a wide hat.
  2. bloomers, (used with a plural verb)
    1. loose trousers gathered at the knee, formerly worn by women as part of a gymnasium, riding, or other sports outfit.
    2. women's underpants of similar, but less bulky, design.
    3. the trousers of a bloomer costume.
    4. any of various women's garments with full-cut legs gathered at the bottom edge.
  1. (of a woman's garment) having full-cut legs gathered at the bottom edge: bloomer shorts.

Origin of bloomer1

1850–55, Americanism; named after A.J. Bloomer


  1. a plant that blooms: a night bloomer.
  2. a person who develops skills, abilities, interests, etc., commensurate with his or her capacities: a quiet, methodical child who became a late bloomer.

Origin of bloomer2

First recorded in 1720–30; bloom1 + -er1


  1. a foolish mistake; blunder.

Origin of bloomer3

1885–90; bloom(ing) (as euphemism for bloody) + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bloomers

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • After dinner, the apprentices retired, to finish sewing some bloomers.

    The Bill-Toppers

    Andre Castaigne

  • Women should wear short skirts, bloomers, or riding-breeches.

    Your National Parks

    Enos A. Mills

  • How does the band of the bloomers differ from that put on the petticoat?

  • All girls should know about it, whether you will use wool or cotton for your bloomers.

  • Bloomers can also be made from gingham, percale, galatea, or other cotton cloth.

British Dictionary definitions for bloomers


pl n
  1. informal women's or girls' baggy knickers
  2. (formerly) loose trousers gathered at the knee worn by women for cycling and athletics
  3. Also called: rational dress history long loose trousers gathered at the ankle and worn under a shorter skirt

Word Origin

from bloomer, a garment introduced in about 1850 and publicized by Mrs A. Bloomer (1818–94), US social reformer


  1. a plant that flowers, esp in a specified waya night bloomer


  1. British informal a stupid mistake; blunder

Word Origin

C20: from blooming


  1. British a medium-sized loaf, baked on the sole of the oven, glazed and notched on top

Word Origin

C20: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bloomers


1851, named for U.S. feminist reformer Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894), who promoted them. The surname is attested from c.1200, said to mean literally "iron-worker," from Old English bloma (see bloom (n.2)).



1730, agent noun from bloom (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper