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[kawrd-wey-ner] /ˈkɔrd weɪ nər/
noun, Archaic.
a person who makes shoes from cordovan leather.
shoemaker; cobbler.
Origin of cordwainer
1150-1200; Middle English cordewaner < Old French cordewan(i)er. See cordwain, -er2
Related forms
cordwainery, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cordwainer
Historical Examples
  • I was an apprentice to a cordwainer, but my indentures were given up before I left England, sir.

    The Gold Hunter's Adventures William H. Thomes
  • Edmund was sent to Concord and became a cordwainer or shoemaker.

    Ben Comee M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan
  • "Both equally necessary members of the body corporate," said Henry, whose father had been a cordwainer.

    The Fair Maid of Perth Sir Walter Scott
  • I shall not wonder if I come to be cousin to a cordwainer's 'prentice yet!

    Captain Kyd (Vol 1 of 2) Jonathon Holt Ingraham
  • And every cordwainer that shod any man or woman on the Sunday, to pay thirty shillings.

  • The message for cordwainer went out of his head, though he went that way on purpose.

    Hester, Volume 2 (of 3) Margaret Oliphant
  • It is true that the family was a branch of the Oddi, and the lover only a cordwainer.

  • Tanners who make a notorious default in leather which is found by a cordwainer shall make a forfeiture.

  • An apprentice of a cordwainer in the town ran away in 1764, or, as it was worded on the police notice, "did elope from service."

    From John O'Groats to Land's End Robert Naylor and John Naylor
  • cordwainer was the old name for "shoemaker," and is still kept in the names of shoemakers' guilds and societies.

    Stories That Words Tell Us Elizabeth O'Neill
British Dictionary definitions for cordwainer


(archaic) a shoemaker or worker in cordovan leather
Derived Forms
cordwainery, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for cordwainer

"shoemaker, leatherworker," c.1100, from Anglo-French cordewaner, from Old French cordoan "(leather) of Cordova," the town in Spain whose leather was favored by the upper class for shoes. Cf. cordovan, a later borrowing directly from Spanish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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