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[too-nik, tyoo-] /ˈtu nɪk, ˈtyu-/
Chiefly British. a coat worn as part of a military or other uniform.
a gownlike outer garment, with or without sleeves and sometimes belted, worn by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
a woman's upper garment, either loose or close-fitting and extending over the skirt to the hips or below.
a garment with a short skirt, worn by women for sports.
Ecclesiastical. a tunicle.
Anatomy, Zoology. any covering or investing membrane or part, as of an organ.
Botany. an integument, as that covering a seed.
Origin of tunic
before 900; (< French tunique) < Latin tunica; perhaps also continuing Old English tunece, tunica < Latin
Related forms
subtunic, noun
supertunic, noun
undertunic, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for tunic
Historical Examples
  • Over this tunic was a red velvet dolman with very short sleeves.

    The Memoirs of Madame Vige Lebrun Marie Louise Elisabeth Vige-Lebrun
  • The stola is said to have been a more ample and ornamented sort of tunic.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • From neck to thigh his lean body was cased in black link mail, and under that a tunic of leather, dyed black.

    Black Amazon of Mars Leigh Brackett
  • When a woman puts off her tunic she puts off her modesty also.

  • I am speaking of that other man—the owner of this tunic—the sergeant who took you into the forest.

    Fort Amity Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • He stuffed the bunch in his tunic pocket and looked around him.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • So, full of shame, he began, hoping that the folds of his chasuble would conceal the absence of a tunic.

  • He pinned a small bit of ribbon and metal to Don Mathers' tunic.

    Medal of Honor Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • It reminds me of that centaur's tunic which could not be torn off without carrying away the flesh and blood of its wearer.

    Amiel's Journal Henri-Frdric Amiel
  • Something bulky in the pocket of the tunic attracted his attention.

British Dictionary definitions for tunic


any of various hip-length or knee-length garments, such as the loose sleeveless garb worn in ancient Greece or Rome, the jacket of some soldiers, or a woman's hip-length garment, worn with a skirt or trousers
(anatomy, botany, zoology) a covering, lining, or enveloping membrane of an organ or part See also tunica
(mainly RC Church) another word for tunicle
Word Origin
Old English tunice (unattested except in the accusative case), from Latin tunica
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 tunic

c.1600, from Middle French tunique, from Latin tunica (cf. Spanish tunica, Italian tonica, Old English tunece, Old High German tunihha), probably from a Semitic source (cf. Hebrew kuttoneth "coat," Aramaic kittuna).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tunic in Medicine

tunic tu·nic (tōō'nĭk, tyōō'-)
A coat or layer enveloping an organ or a part; tunica.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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