[ pet-ee-koht ]
See synonyms for petticoat on
  1. Also called pettiskirt . an underskirt, especially one that is full and often trimmed and ruffled and of a decorative fabric.

  2. any skirtlike part or covering.

  1. a flounce or valance fitting around the sides of a bed, couch, or chair, as to conceal the legs.

  2. Informal: Sometimes Offensive. a woman or girl (usually used facetiously).

  1. Informal: Sometimes Offensive. of, relating to, or controlled by women; female; feminine: petticoat government.

Origin of petticoat

First recorded in 1375–1425, petticoat is from the late Middle English word petycote.See petty, coat

usage note For petticoat

In reference to a female, this term is usually used for humorous effect, but is sometimes perceived as insulting or demeaning to women.

Other words from petticoat

  • pet·ti·coat·less, adjective
  • un·der·pet·ti·coat, noun

Words Nearby petticoat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use petticoat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for petticoat


/ (ˈpɛtɪˌkəʊt) /

  1. a woman's light undergarment in the form of an underskirt or including a bodice supported by shoulder straps

  2. informal

    • a humorous or mildly disparaging name for a woman

    • (as modifier): petticoat politics

Origin of petticoat

C15: see petty, coat

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