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corduroy

[kawr-duh-roi, kawr-duh-roi]
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noun
  1. a cotton-filling pile fabric with lengthwise cords or ridges.
  2. corduroys, trousers made of this fabric.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or resembling corduroy.
  2. constructed of logs laid together transversely, as a road across swampy ground.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to form (a road or the like) by laying logs transversely.
  2. to make a corduroy road across or along.
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Origin of corduroy

1780–90; perhaps cord (cf. cords) + duroy, deroy (now obsolete) a woolen fabric originating in W England; later taken as French cord du roy the king's cords, though the fabric had no connection with France
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for corduroy

Historical Examples

  • By the skidway in the Puget Sound region is meant a corduroy road.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • A corduroy road ran by, and a telegraph, and Grant's railroad.

    The County Regiment

    Dudley Landon Vaill

  • I was knocked endways about Collins; for who could have been on the corduroy road if he had not.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery

    Susan Carleton Jones

  • In her corduroy skirt 198 and jacket, she looked very girlish.

    Across the Mesa

    Jarvis Hall

  • I should never have known him, dressed in corduroy, and with a rake over his shoulder.

    Out in the Forty-Five

    Emily Sarah Holt


British Dictionary definitions for corduroy

corduroy

noun
    1. a heavy cotton pile fabric with lengthways ribs
    2. (as modifier)a corduroy coat
    See also corduroys
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Word Origin

C18: perhaps from the proper name Corderoy
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 corduroy

n.

1780, probably from cord + obsolete 17c. duroy, name of a coarse fabric made in England, of unknown origin. Folk etymology is from *corde du roi "the king's cord," but this is not attested in French, where the term for the cloth was velours à côtes. Applied in U.S. to a road of logs across swampy ground (1780s) on similarity of appearance.

CORDUROY ROAD. A road or causeway constructed with logs laid together over swamps or marshy places. When properly finished earth is thrown between them by which the road is made smooth; but in newly settled parts of the United States they are often left uncovered, and hence are extremely rough and bad to pass over with a carriage. Sometimes they extend many miles. They derive their name from their resemblance to a species of ribbed velvet, called corduroy. [Bartlett]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper