or neg·li·gée, neg·li·gé

[neg-li-zhey, neg-li-zhey]


a dressing gown or robe, usually of sheer fabric and having soft, flowing lines, worn by women.
easy, informal attire.

Origin of negligee

1745–55, Americanism; < French négligé carelessness, undress, literally, neglected, past participle of négliger < Latin negligere, variant of neglegere to neglect Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for negligee

wrapper, wrap, robe, nightdress, camisole, dishabille, teddy, peignoir, nightie

Examples from the Web for negligee

Contemporary Examples of negligee

Historical Examples of negligee

  • Marjorie arose with her customary energy and reached for her negligee.

  • Or rather, in a negligee costume, for I had taken off my evening gown and wore a tea-gown.

    The Gold Bag

    Carolyn Wells

  • Dudley's negligee shirt was open over his chest which was beaded with sweat.


    Evelyn Scott

  • She was pulling at the long broad blue ribbons of her negligee.

    The Great God Success

    John Graham (David Graham Phillips)

  • She already was undressed—had on the negligee she's wearing now.

    The Time Mirror

    Clark South

British Dictionary definitions for negligee




a woman's light dressing gown, esp one that is lace-trimmed
a thin and revealing woman's nightdress
any informal attire

Word Origin for negligee

C18: from French négligée, past participle (fem) of négliger to neglect
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 negligee

1756, "a kind of loose gown worn by women," from French négligée, noun use of fem. past participle of négligier "to neglect" (14c.), from Latin neglegere "to disregard, not heed, not trouble oneself about," also "to make light of" (see neglect (v.)). So called in comparison to the elaborate costume of a fully dressed woman of the period. Borrowed again, 1835; the modern sense "semi-transparent, flimsy, lacy dressing gown" is yet another revival, first recorded 1930. It also was used in the U.S. funeral industry mid-20c. for "shroud of a corpse."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper