Definition of Lycra in English:



  • [mass noun] An elastic polyurethane fibre or fabric used especially for close-fitting sports clothing.

    [as modifier] ‘Lycra shorts’
    • ‘The look this year, I am happy to say, is Lycra, and Lycra was invented with Cuban bottoms in mind.’
    • ‘Solid-color, tie-dye, and lace-trim varieties are all made from soft rayon Lycra.’
    • ‘If you're going for the fitted top (I said fitted, not tight), opt for a top with Lycra in it, for that added stretch.’
    • ‘But adding Lycra can make the fabric less stable, requiring more maintenance by the consumer.’
    • ‘My pair of sleek, stylish and always sexy Lycra bike shorts that I was sporting only weeks ago have been traded in for sweatpants and a fleece.’
    • ‘With 5 per cent added Lycra, the clothing will allow you to manoeuvre more freely.’
    • ‘The errant male cyclist, clad in lurid Lycra, sunglasses and helmet, was according to Chris ‘in no mood to wait around’.’
    • ‘This is an era of bikini swimsuits, Lycra sportswear, revealing underwear and lingerie ads in mainstream newspapers.’
    • ‘If you're not wearing a suit, then pants with wool, gabardine, or wool with Lycra are an excellent option for work.’
    • ‘Men fight in a loin cloth, the ‘mawashi’, and although women also wear one, it is usually over a leotard and Lycra shorts.’
    • ‘I am not the kind of bicyclist who gets into black Lycra shorts and shirts which look as if they are sponsored by 10 different suppliers of drugs to the Tour de France.’
    • ‘Linen will be combined with Lycra and many of the benefits that gave denim a boost when first combined with Lycra will soon be a familiar demand from consumers for linen.’
    • ‘‘I was a random tattooed thug with short hair and Lycra trousers and wrestling pads,’ he says.’
    • ‘The Lycra spandex stretch denim business is good, he adds, and is expected to become a core offering in the United States.’
    • ‘Tiger Woods never plays tournaments in shorts, let alone black denim and Lycra.’
    • ‘In the same year, the arrival of the synthetic fibre Lycra paved the way for a more radical look, with fashion designer Rudi Gernreich creating the monokini.’
    • ‘You'll need a pair of straight leg pants, preferably a wool blend, with fabrics such as cotton, nylon and even some Lycra.’
    • ‘Wearing anything from period costume to Lycra leggings, the teams also have to perform tasks such as scoffing a piece of cake or bobbing an apple at various points.’
    • ‘PVC, fishnet, Lycra and velvet were worked into corsets, coats and masks.’
    • ‘To that end, Burlington will be using different yams, such as Lycra spandex, polyester, polyolefin and Tencel, in its new fabrics.’


1950s: of unknown origin.