verb (used with object), draped, drap·ing.

verb (used without object), draped, drap·ing.

to hang, fall, or become arranged in folds, as drapery: This silk drapes well.


Origin of drape

1400–50; late Middle English < Middle French draper, derivative of drap cloth (see drab1)
Related formsdrap·a·ble, drape·a·ble, adjectivedrap·a·bil·i·ty, drape·a·bil·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drape

Contemporary Examples of drape

Historical Examples of drape

  • Then, after doing up her hair, I began to drape a material around her.

    The Choice of Life

    Georgette Leblanc

  • The rock is grim when it is bare; it wants verdure to drape it if it is to be lovely.

  • Next to it, the drape framing the window was not hanging right.

    The Gallery

    Roger Phillips Graham

  • Religion, indigestion, priggishness, or discontent may drape the panes.

    Practical Mysticism

    Evelyn Underhill

  • With a one-finger gesture he signals the nurse to drape her rug over the chair.

British Dictionary definitions for drape



(tr) to hang or cover with flexible material or fabric, usually in folds; adorn
to hang or arrange or be hung or arranged, esp in folds
(tr) to place casually and loosely; hangshe draped her arm over the back of the chair


(often plural) a cloth or hanging that covers something in folds; drapery
the way in which fabric hangs
See also drapes
Derived Formsdrapable or drapeable, adjective

Word Origin for drape

C15: from Old French draper, from drap piece of cloth; see drab 1
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 drape

c.1400, "to ornament with cloth hangings;" mid-15c., "to weave into cloth," from Old French draper "to weave, make cloth" (13c.), from drap "cloth, piece of cloth, sheet, bandage," from Late Latin drapus, perhaps of Gaulish origin (cf. Old Irish drapih "mantle, garment"). Meaning "to cover with drapery" is from 1847. Meaning "to cause to hang or stretch out loosely or carelessly" is from 1943. Related: Draped; draping.


1660s, from drape (v.). Jive talk slang for "suit of clothes" is attested from 1945.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

drape in Medicine




To cover, dress, or hang with or as if with cloth in loose folds.


A cloth arranged over a patient's body during an examination or treatment or during surgery, designed to provide a sterile field around the area.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.