[ puh-jah-muhz, -jam-uhz ]
/ pəˈdʒɑ məz, -ˈdʒæm əz /
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noun (used with a plural verb)Chiefly British.
a variant of pajamas.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does pyjamas mean?

Pyjamas is an alternate spelling of pajamas—the clothes you wear to sleep in.

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

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 pyjama and pajama, without an s, are used as modifiers in terms involving pyjamas, such as pyjama pants.

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

Where does pyjamas 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 these words started to become widespread in the first half of the 1900s.

Originally, the word pyjamas 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 pyjamas?

What are some synonyms for pyjamas?

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

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


How is pyjamas used in real life?

The spelling pyjamas is typically used by speakers of British English.



Try using pyjamas!

Which of the following words is a synonym of pyjamas?

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

How to use pyjamas in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pyjamas


US pajamas

/ (pəˈdʒɑːməz) /

pl n
loose-fitting nightclothes comprising a jacket or top and trousers
full loose-fitting ankle-length trousers worn by either sex in various Eastern countries
women's flared trousers or trouser suit used esp for leisure wear

Word Origin for pyjamas

C19: from Hindi, from Persian pāi leg + jāmah clothing, garment
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