[wes-kuh t, weyst-koht]


Chiefly British. vest(def 1).
an 18th-century garment for women that is similar to a man's vest, usually worn with a riding habit.
a man's body garment, often quilted and embroidered and having sleeves, worn under the doublet in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Origin of waistcoat

First recorded in 1510–20; waist + coat
Related formswaist·coat·ed, adjectiveun·der·waist·coat, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for waistcoat

Contemporary Examples of waistcoat

Historical Examples of waistcoat

  • He had stripped off his coat and waistcoat, and was busily at work in his shirt-sleeves.

    Little Daffydowndilly

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • He took one, and placed it nonchalantly in his waistcoat pocket, as he had seen the others do.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Levi had taken off his coat and waistcoat and was fanning himself with his hat.

  • His waistcoat was red, and he wore knee-breeches, but his aspect was flustered.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • He will prolong your life and loosen every button on your waistcoat.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

British Dictionary definitions for waistcoat



a sleeveless waist-length garment with buttons at the front, often worn under a suit jacketUS, Canadian, and Austral name: vest
a man's garment worn under a doublet in the 16th century
Derived Formswaistcoated, adjective
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 waistcoat

1510s, from waist + coat (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper