[lahn-zhuh-rey, lan-zhuh-ree, -juh-; French lanzhuh-ree]


underwear, sleepwear, and other items of intimate apparel worn by women.
Archaic. linen goods in general.


having the qualities of lingerie; lacy or frilly.

Origin of lingerie

1825–35; < French, equivalent to Middle French linge linen (< Latin līneus of flax; see line1) + -erie -ery Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lingerie

Contemporary Examples of lingerie

Historical Examples of lingerie

  • Beneath it was lingerie of the kind which, it is said, may be drawn through a ring.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • The lingerie was of the best, and the seamstress was engaged on it for many weeks.

  • There were boxes of gloves, boxes of silk stockings, dainty bundles of lingerie.

    Rich Man, Poor Man

    Maximilian Foster

  • French lingerie is the sign and symbol of French femininity.

    In Vanity Fair

    Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd

  • The letter wandered on into a maze of lingerie and millinery and silk petticoats.

British Dictionary definitions for lingerie



women's underwear and nightwear
archaic linen goods collectively

Word Origin for lingerie

C19: from French, from linge, from Latin līneus linen, from līnum flax
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 lingerie

1835 (but not in widespread use until 1852), from French lingerie "things made of linen," also "laundry room, linen shop" (15c.), from Old French linge "linen" (12c.), from Latin lineus (adj.) "of linen," from linum "flax, linen" (see linen). Originally introduced in English as a euphemism for scandalous under-linen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper