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[pin-uh-fawr, -fohr] /ˈpɪn əˌfɔr, -ˌfoʊr/
a child's apron, usually large enough to cover the dress and sometimes trimmed with flounces.
a woman's sleeveless garment derived from it, low-necked, tying or buttoning in the back, and worn as an apron or as a dress, usually over a blouse, a sweater, or another dress.
Chiefly British.
  1. a large apron worn by adults.
  2. a sleeveless smock.
Origin of pinafore
First recorded in 1775-85; pin + afore Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pinafore
Historical Examples
  • "I am sorry for her," said Henry, rubbing the sleeve of his pinafore across his eyes.

    The Fairchild Family Mary Martha Sherwood
  • It was creeping about like an old baby, and had on a little frock and pinafore.

  • We'll sail in the 'pinafore,' and come home with our pockets full of money.

    Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Vol. 5 Louisa M. Alcott
  • His frock set off this petted appearance—it gave you the idea of a pinafore on him.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • "Give it to me," cried the Prince; and reaching after it, he hid it under his pinafore.

    The Little Lame Prince Dinah Maria Mulock
  • But it looked to me like a child's pinafore, greatly enlarged.

    Gossamer George A. Birmingham
  • "The little girls will laugh at me," she said, drying her tears with her pinafore.

    The Silver Lining John Roussel
  • But a young man of nineteen ought not to be attached to his mother's pinafore!

    The Silver Lining John Roussel
  • The 'pinafore' announcement was for the edification of the New Londoners.

    A Pirate of Parts Richard Neville
  • Then why don't you substitute something in place of 'pinafore?'

    A Pirate of Parts Richard Neville
British Dictionary definitions for pinafore


(mainly Brit) an apron, esp one with a bib
(mainly Brit) short for pinafore dress
(mainly US) an overdress buttoning at the back
Word Origin
C18: from pin + afore
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 pinafore

"sleeveless apron worn by children," 1782, from pin (v.) + afore "on the front." So called because it was originally pinned to a dress front.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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