noun Archaic.

a person who makes shoes from cordovan leather.
shoemaker; cobbler.


Origin of cordwainer

1150–1200; Middle English cordewaner < Old French cordewan(i)er. See cordwain, -er2
Related formscord·wain·er·y, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cordwainer

Historical Examples of cordwainer

  • It is true that the family was a branch of the Oddi, and the lover only a cordwainer.

  • Edmund was sent to Concord and became a cordwainer or shoemaker.

    Ben Comee

    M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan

  • And every cordwainer that shod any man or woman on the Sunday, to pay thirty shillings.

  • I shall not wonder if I come to be cousin to a cordwainer's 'prentice yet!

    Captain Kyd (Vol 1 of 2)

    Jonathon Holt Ingraham

  • An apprentice of a cordwainer in the town ran away in 1764, or, as it was worded on the police notice, "did elope from service."

    From John O'Groats to Land's End

    Robert Naylor and John Naylor

British Dictionary definitions for cordwainer



archaic a shoemaker or worker in cordovan leather
Derived Formscordwainery, noun
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 cordwainer

"shoemaker, leatherworker," c.1100, from Anglo-French cordewaner, from Old French cordoan "(leather) of Cordova," the town in Spain whose leather was favored by the upper class for shoes. Cf. cordovan, a later borrowing directly from Spanish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper