[ puh-jah-muhz, -jam-uhz ]
/ pəˈdʒɑ məz, -ˈdʒæm əz /
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noun (used with a plural verb)
clothing for wearing in bed, consisting of usually loose-fitting pants or shorts and matching top: my favorite pair of flannel pajamas.
any clothing worn for sleeping or lounging: The only pajamas I brought are a pair of boxers and a T-shirt.
a jumpsuit or two-piece outfit with loose-fitting bottoms: beach pajamas.
loose-fitting trousers, usually of silk or cotton, worn in parts of Asia.
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Also especially British, py·jam·as .

Origin of pajamas

First recorded in 1870–75; plural of pajama, from Hindi, variant of pāyjāma, from Persian pāy “leg” + jāma “garment”


pa·ja·maed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does pajamas mean?

Pajamas are the clothes you wear to sleep in.

The word is commonly and informally abbreviated as p.j.’s. It is typically spelled as pyjamas by speakers of British English.

You could say that whatever clothes you change into before going to bed are your pajamas. Traditionally, though, pajamas are specifically made and sold as clothes for sleeping in, typically consisting of soft, loose-fitting pants or shorts and a (sometimes matching) top. However, there are many different types and styles, such as nightgowns.

Clothes considered pajamas aren’t only worn for sleeping, though. For example, a person might drive to get a cup of coffee in the morning while still wearing their pajamas, or a college student might wake up and attend class in their pajamas. People also commonly use the terms p.j.’s and pajamas to refer to the clothes they wear to lounge in (also called loungewear), especially before bed (even if they then change into another set of pajamas to sleep in).

Even more informal terms for pajamas are jammies, jams, and jam-jams. These are typically used by children, adults speaking to children, or people using childish words to be silly. The word sleepwear is sometimes used as a more formal synonym for pajamas, especially in the name of a department in a clothing store or a section of a clothing website. More formal terms, like nightclothes and nightwear, are rarely used.

The word pajama, without an s, is used as a modifier in terms involving pajamas, such as pajama pants.

Example: When I get home tonight, I’m changing into my most comfortable pajamas, snuggling under the covers, and watching a movie.

Where does pajamas come from?

The first records of the words pajamas and pyjamas come from the 1800s. They come from the Hindi pāyjāma, from the Persian pāy, meaning “leg,” and jāma, meaning “garment.” The use of p.j.’s as an abbreviation of pajamas started to become widespread in the first half of the 1900s.

Originally, the word pajamas referred to loose-fitting pants worn in parts of Asia, usually made of silk or cotton. It then came to refer to a style of women’s pants, especially ones flared at the bottom, worn as leisurewear. Eventually, the word’s association with loose-fitting clothing resulted in its use as a term for sleepwear.

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What are some other forms related to pajamas?

What are some synonyms for pajamas?

What are some words that share a root or word element with pajamas

What are some words that often get used in discussing pajamas?

How is pajamas used in real life?

The term pajamas is the most common way to refer to the clothes you sleep in. Pajamas are known for being comfortable, so some people like to wear them as much as possible, while others frown upon them being worn outside the house. The abbreviation p.j.’s is informal but very commonly used.



Try using pajamas!

Which of the following words is a synonym of pajamas?

A. p.j.’s
B. sleepwear
C. jammies
D. all of the above

How to use pajamas in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pajamas

/ (pəˈdʒɑːməz) /

pl n
the US spelling of pyjamas
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