• synonyms


[pin-uh-fawr, -fohr]
See more synonyms for pinafore on Thesaurus.com
  1. a child's apron, usually large enough to cover the dress and sometimes trimmed with flounces.
  2. a woman's sleeveless garment derived from it, low-necked, tying or buttoning in the back, and worn as an apron or as a dress, usually over a blouse, a sweater, or another dress.
  3. Chiefly British.
    1. a large apron worn by adults.
    2. a sleeveless smock.
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Origin of pinafore

First recorded in 1775–85; pin + afore
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pinafore

Historical Examples

  • "I am sorry for her," said Henry, rubbing the sleeve of his pinafore across his eyes.

    The Fairchild Family

    Mary Martha Sherwood

  • It was creeping about like an old baby, and had on a little frock and pinafore.

  • We'll sail in the 'Pinafore,' and come home with our pockets full of money.

  • His frock set off this petted appearance—it gave you the idea of a pinafore on him.

    Little Novels of Italy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • "Give it to me," cried the Prince; and reaching after it, he hid it under his pinafore.

    The Little Lame Prince

    Dinah Maria Mulock

British Dictionary definitions for pinafore


  1. mainly British an apron, esp one with a bib
  2. mainly British short for pinafore dress
  3. mainly US an overdress buttoning at the back
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Word Origin

C18: from pin + afore
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 pinafore


"sleeveless apron worn by children," 1782, from pin (v.) + afore "on the front." So called because it was originally pinned to a dress front.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper