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chemise

[shuh-meez]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a woman's loose-fitting, shirtlike undergarment.
  2. (in women's fashions) a dress designed to hang straight from the shoulders and fit loosely at the waist, sometimes more tightly at the hip.
  3. a revetment for an earth embankment.

Origin of chemise

before 1050; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French: shirt < Late Latin camīsa linen undergarment, shirt; replacing Middle English kemes, Old English cemes < Late Latin camīsa
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chemise

Historical Examples

  • So long as she was not beneath it, she would have gone off willingly without a chemise to her back.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • Whether she was in her chemise or in full dress did not matter.

  • That chemise was not hers, she would have nothing to do with it.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • I saw Leah enter my room in her chemise and a light petticoat.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • She wanted to make a chemise to replace the only one which she possessed.

    Nobody's Girl

    Hector Malot


British Dictionary definitions for chemise

chemise

noun
  1. an unwaisted loose-fitting dress hanging straight from the shoulders
  2. a loose shirtlike undergarment
Also called: shift

Word Origin

C14: from Old French: shirt, from Late Latin camisa, perhaps of Celtic 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 chemise

n.

late Old English, cemes "shirt," from Old French chemise "shirt, undertunic, shift," or directly from Late Latin camisia "shirt, tunic" (Jerome; also source of Italian camicia, Spanish camisa); originally a soldier's word, probably via Gaulish, from Proto-Germanic *khamithjan (cf. Old Frisian hemethe, Old Saxon hemithi, Old English hemeðe, German hemd "shirt"), from PIE root *kem- "to cover, cloak" (cf. heaven). The French form took over after c.1200. Related: Chemisette.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper