[uhn-der-klohz, -klohth z]

noun (used with a plural verb)

clothes worn under outer clothes.

Origin of underclothes

First recorded in 1825–35; under- + clothes
Also called un·der·cloth·ing [uhn-der-kloh-th ing] /ˈʌn dərˌkloʊ ðɪŋ/.




clothing worn next to the skin under outer clothes.

Origin of underwear

First recorded in 1870–75; under- + wear
Also called underclothes, underclothing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for underclothing

Historical Examples of underclothing

  • From him I learned the address of “the coloured lady” who had my underclothing.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • Her dress was very ragged, but her underclothing bore the stamp of some institution.


    Florence A. Sitwell

  • His underclothing separated from his flesh with a wrench which made him shiver.

    The Dead Command

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • He was provided with some flannel shirts and other underclothing.

    Condemned as a Nihilist

    George Alfred Henty

  • Never, if at all possible, allow the underclothing to dry on the body.

British Dictionary definitions for underclothing


pl n

a variant of underwear Also called: underclothing



clothing worn under the outer garments, usually next to the skinAlso called: underclothes
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 underclothing



1872, from under + wear (n.). So called because it is worn under one's clothing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper