[ blous, blouz ]
/ blaʊs, blaʊz /


a usually lightweight, loose-fitting garment for women and children, covering the body from the neck or shoulders more or less to the waistline, with or without a collar and sleeves, worn inside or outside a skirt, slacks, etc.
a single-breasted, semifitted military jacket.
a loose outer garment, reaching to the hip or thigh, or below the knee, and sometimes belted.Compare smock frock.

verb (used without object), bloused, blous·ing.

to puff out in a drooping fullness, as a blouse above a fitted waistband.

verb (used with object), bloused, blous·ing.

to dispose the material of a garment in loose folds, as trouser legs over the tops of boots.

Nearby words

  1. blotter,
  2. blotting,
  3. blotting paper,
  4. blotto,
  5. blount's disease,
  6. blouson,
  7. blousy,
  8. bloviate,
  9. bloviation,
  10. blow

Origin of blouse

1820–30; < French, perhaps from the phrase *vêtement de laine blouse garment of short (i.e., uncarded, pure) wool; compare Provençal (lano) blouso pure (wool) < Old High German blōz naked, cognate with Old English bleat poor, miserable

Related formsblouse·like, adjectiveblous·y, adjectiveun·bloused, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blouse

British Dictionary definitions for blouse


/ (blaʊz) /


a woman's shirtlike garment made of cotton, nylon, etc
a loose-fitting smocklike garment, often knee length and belted, worn esp by E European peasants
a loose-fitting waist-length belted jacket worn by soldiers


to hang or make so as to hang in full loose folds

Word Origin for blouse

C19: from French, of unknown origin

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

Word Origin and History for blouse



1828 (from 1822 as a French word in English), from French blouse, "workman's or peasant's smock" (1788), origin unknown. Perhaps akin to Provençal (lano) blouso "short (wool)" [Gamillscheg]. Another suggestion [Klein] is that it is from Medieval Latin pelusia, from Pelusium, a city in Upper Egypt, supposedly a clothing manufacturing center in the Middle Ages.

In Paris, a very slovenly, loose, drawn frock, with most capacious sleeves, had been introduced called a blouse. Some of our priestesses of the toilet seemed emulous of copying this deshabille, with some slight alterations, but we never wish to see it on the symmetrical form of a British lady. ["Summary of Fashion for 1822," in "Museum of Foreign Literature and Science," Jan.-June 1823]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper