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[uhn-der-wair] /ˈʌn dərˌwɛər/
clothing worn next to the skin under outer clothes.
Also called underclothes, underclothing.
Origin of underwear
First recorded in 1870-75; under- + wear Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for underwear
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The underwear might have been of red gold instead of red flannel.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • She also wore a dark blue skirt and a union suit of underwear.

  • He grimly stripped to underwear and put on the heat-suit from his bag.

    Sand Doom William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • Fur garments and underwear were hanging to the branches of trees.

    The Land of the Long Night Paul du Chaillu
  • What had she to do with smocked dresses, children's underwear, capes?

    Gigolo Edna Ferber
British Dictionary definitions for underwear


clothing worn under the outer garments, usually next to the skin Also called underclothes
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 underwear

1872, from under + wear (n.). So called because it is worn under one's clothing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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