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[puh-jah-muh z, -jam-uh z] /pəˈdʒɑ məz, -ˈdʒæm əz/
noun, (used with a plural verb) Chiefly British.


[puh-jah-muh z, -jam-uh z] /pəˈdʒɑ məz, -ˈdʒæm əz/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
night clothes consisting of loose-fitting trousers and jacket.
loose-fitting trousers, usually of silk or cotton, worn by both sexes in Asia, especially in the East.
Also, especially British, pyjamas.
Origin of pajamas
1870-75; plural of pajama < Hindi, variant of pāyjāma < Persian pāy leg + jāma garment
Related forms
pajamaed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pyjamas
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He pulled up the leg of his pyjamas to exhibit the strapped knife.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • He was wearing a suit of pyjamas not nearly big enough for him.

    The Red Hand of Ulster George A. Birmingham
  • There was a suit of pyjamas of Hamilton's which had a stripe very near, but not quite.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • Clothed in his pyjamas he opened the door between the rooms.

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • “We must have plenty, and flannels and pyjamas,” said Sir John.

    Jack at Sea George Manville Fenn
  • Every morning, when he got up, he went into her room in his pyjamas.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • There stands Clay in his pyjamas with a man I recognise as the night-watchman, a European.

  • And he opened the window in his pyjamas and said, 'Who's there?'

British Dictionary definitions for pyjamas


plural noun
loose-fitting nightclothes comprising a jacket or top and trousers
full loose-fitting ankle-length trousers worn by either sex in various Eastern countries
women's flared trousers or trouser suit used esp for leisure wear
Word Origin
C19: from Hindi, from Persian pāi leg + jāmah clothing, garment


plural noun
the US spelling of pyjamas
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 pyjamas

also pyjama (adj.), chiefly British English spelling of pajamas. Early spellings in English also include pai jamahs (1800); pigammahs (1834), peijammahs (1840).



1800, pai jamahs "loose trousers tied at the waist," worn by Muslims in India and adopted by Europeans there, especially for nightwear, from Hindi pajama, probably from Persian paejamah, literally "leg clothing," from pae "leg" (from PIE *ped- "foot," see foot (n.)) + jamah "clothing." Modern spelling (U.S.) is from 1845. British spelling tends toward pyjamas.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for pyjamas


Related Terms

the cat's meow

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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