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[dreyp] /dreɪp/
verb (used with object), draped, draping.
to cover or hang with cloth or other fabric, especially in graceful folds; adorn with drapery.
to adjust (curtains, clothes, etc.) into graceful folds, attractive lines, etc.
to arrange, hang, or let fall carelessly:
Don't drape your feet over the chair!
Medicine/Medical, Surgery. to place cloth so as to surround (a part to be examined, treated, or operated upon).
(in reinforced-concrete construction) to hang (reinforcement) in a certain form between two points before pouring the concrete.
to put a black cravat on (a flagstaff) as a token of mourning.
verb (used without object), draped, draping.
to hang, fall, or become arranged in folds, as drapery:
This silk drapes well.
a curtain or hanging of heavy fabric and usually considerable length, especially either of a pair for covering a window and drawn open and shut horizontally.
either of a pair of similar curtains extending or draped at the sides of a window, French doors, or the like as decoration.
manner or style of hanging:
the drape of a skirt.
Origin of drape
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French draper, derivative of drap cloth (see drab1)
Related forms
drapable, drapeable, adjective
drapability, drapeability, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for drapes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Magnan shifted from one foot to the other then pushed through the drapes.

    Gambler's World John Keith Laumer
  • The room was small and dusky, with heavy Turkish drapes obscuring the dark hallway beyond.

    An Ounce of Cure Alan Edward Nourse
  • The clown who excites the multitudes to mirth is more a benefactor than the conqueror who drapes a thousand homes in mourning.

  • This wonderful atmosphere softens even its ruggedness, and drapes it with hues of enchanting beauty.

    Saunterings Charles Dudley Warner
  • It drapes many an unsightly stump, or clambers up into shrubs, embowering them with its pretty foliage.

  • Her drapes, died red and orange in the flame, blew about her as she walked toward them.

    The Jewels of Aptor Samuel R. Delany
British Dictionary definitions for drapes


plural noun (mainly US & Canadian)
curtains, esp ones of heavy fabric


(transitive) to hang or cover with flexible material or fabric, usually in folds; adorn
to hang or arrange or be hung or arranged, esp in folds
(transitive) to place casually and loosely; hang: she draped her arm over the back of the chair
(often pl) a cloth or hanging that covers something in folds; drapery
the way in which fabric hangs
See also drapes
Derived Forms
drapable, drapeable, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Old French draper, from drap piece of cloth; see drab1
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 drapes

"curtains," 1895, see drape (n.).



c.1400, "to ornament with cloth hangings;" mid-15c., "to weave into cloth," from Old French draper "to weave, make cloth" (13c.), from drap "cloth, piece of cloth, sheet, bandage," from Late Latin drapus, perhaps of Gaulish origin (cf. Old Irish drapih "mantle, garment"). Meaning "to cover with drapery" is from 1847. Meaning "to cause to hang or stretch out loosely or carelessly" is from 1943. Related: Draped; draping.



1660s, from drape (v.). Jive talk slang for "suit of clothes" is attested from 1945.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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drapes in Medicine

drape (drāp)
v. draped, drap·ing, drapes
To cover, dress, or hang with or as if with cloth in loose folds. n.
A cloth arranged over a patient's body during an examination or treatment or during surgery, designed to provide a sterile field around the area.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for drapes



Clothes; dress (1935+ Black)



  1. A suit; ensemble of suit, shirt, necktie, and hat
  2. A young man wearing black, narrow-cuffed slacks, a garish shirt, a loose jacket without lapels, and no necktie: Drapes resent any comparison with zoot-suiters (1940s+ Jive talk)

Related Terms

set of threads

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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