Definition of apron in English:



  • 1A protective garment worn over the front of one's clothes and tied at the back.

    ‘a striped butcher's apron’
    as modifier ‘I reached into my apron pocket’
    • ‘Nurses wear protective plastic aprons over their uniforms while performing tasks in Scottish hospitals.’
    • ‘Then women wear embroidered blouses, lace aprons, and full, dirndl skirts.’
    • ‘She ran her finger along the large bills in the wallet before mustering the courage to grab the cash and thrust it into the front pocket of her apron, where she kept tips.’
    • ‘Old women shuffling along bent almost beyond 90 degrees in their gumboots and floral aprons with bundles of clothes tied over there backs.’
    • ‘Sighing, I reached in the front pocket of my apron for my note pad and proceeded to the elderly couple.’
    • ‘Wear old clothes or an apron, because the solution will discolor and eat through fabric.’
    • ‘She released me slightly in the end, but kept her arm around my shoulders as she reached into the pocket of her apron and pulled out a locket.’
    • ‘Butchers in striped aprons smile at the cameras from outside the same shop that stands today, unaware of the future that would one day come to their unremarkable little town.’
    • ‘Ginger appeared from out of the kitchen wearing an apron over her clothes.’
    • ‘One of the sisters offers a protective apron to me; I accept it.’
    • ‘He wore a puffy white long sleeve that made a v-shape above the chest with black slacks; everyday clothes with a stained apron around himself.’
    • ‘He was not dressed as that of the papacy; instead he wore dirtied peasant clothes with an apron tied around his waist.’
    • ‘Wear gloves, aprons, and other protective clothing to keep your skin from coming in contact with oils, greases, and chemicals.’
    • ‘They nodded and she dug in one of the many pockets of her apron until she produced two large suckers, which they took gratefully.’
    • ‘She wore a rather worn dress and an apron with pockets full of spools.’
    • ‘Amy pulled a letter from the front pocket of her apron.’
    • ‘You'll often see decorative aprons, skirt hems or sleeves on everyday clothes, and baby-carriers are typically exuberant.’
    • ‘It is a toy monkey wearing a red and white striped shirt, a green apron and a bowler hat.’
    • ‘I decided to pocket it, but when I reached for my apron I realized that I hadn't worn it.’
    • ‘Mother was waiting inside, and was standing in her old clothes with her apron tied in front.’
    pinafore, overall
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A garment similar to an apron that is worn as part of official dress, as by a bishop or Freemason.
      • ‘The first day of the convention was Friday, and I went along to the Dallas Brooks Centre, which amusingly, being a Masonic centre, had lots of pictures of blokes in aprons around the place.’
      • ‘The initiate returns wearing his apron.’
      • ‘In the case of a Freemason, there would also be various other objects - particularly the apron.’
      • ‘And he had the bishop's apron framed, and hung it in the parsonage hail, from a red-deer's antlers, with the name and date below.’
      • ‘He is represented as the Master of his Lodge, wearing his apron, Master’s jewel, and standing with a gavel before the Master’s chair.’
    2. 1.2 A sheet of lead worn to shield the body during an X-ray examination.
      • ‘We have flown with our toddler and covered her with a lead apron used for taking x-rays.’
      • ‘All personnel who remained in the room during CT fluoroscopic imaging wore lead aprons.’
      • ‘Radiographers wear a lead apron or go behind a protective screen to avoid repeated exposure to x-rays.’
      • ‘If so, you may be asked to wear a lead apron to shield you from exposure to X-rays.’
      • ‘Lead shields or aprons should be available for staff members in the event an intraoperative x-ray is needed.’
      • ‘Staff are required to wear lead aprons and to remain behind protective screens during exposures, and their radiation dose is monitored by a device contained in a ‘badge’ which they wear all the time.’
      • ‘But wait - notice that the dentist covers you in a lead apron when your teeth are x-rayed, and the dentist always leaves the room!’
      • ‘Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimise the amount of radiation.’
      • ‘My sister and I took him to the radiologist yesterday, where we were given lead aprons and had to squash Harri at several uncomfortable angles to get the x-rays.’
      • ‘If you remain in the room during the X-ray exposure, you're typically given a lead apron to wear to shield you from unnecessary exposure.’
      • ‘The easiest way to avoid radiation is to absorb it, like wearing a lead apron when you get an x-ray at the dentist.’
      • ‘Due to the location of the test lead, the patient's genitalia cannot be shielded with a lead apron.’
      • ‘Although you should generally avoid X-rays during pregnancy, a lead apron that covers your pelvis and abdomen can shield your unborn baby.’
      • ‘Usually the film badge is worn underneath the lead apron, which introduces a very serious underestimation of the real dose.’
  • 2A small area adjacent to another larger area or structure.

    ‘a tiny apron of garden’
    • ‘The person in that photograph is standing in line with where the applicant's body was found on the concrete apron straight after the fall.’
    • ‘Alicia also laid claim to the small apron of land behind the cottage, with a well and a water pump.’
    • ‘Formal elements include a foreground or apron of foaming wash, and beyond that a wall of wave as it forms a tube, then crests and crashes.’
    • ‘The brook trout lived in the deep pot outside that little apron of land.’
    • ‘Recently we asked the proprietor if we could rent or buy it and a small apron of land around in which to grown herbs.’
    • ‘There, clear, was Arthur's seat, the Georgian grid of the new town, the apron of streets spreading downhill, northwards, to Leith and to the firth.’
    • ‘A further R400-million was spent upgrading adjacent aprons and the roads infrastructure in the vicinity of the airport.’
    • ‘It is that small apron of land at the entrance to the old railway tunnel under Mill Hill Road from the Arctic Road end.’
    • ‘The routes will meet at the apron of the Front Garden at the junction of the old railway track and the old canal.’
    • ‘It lies in the old Marin Cemetery overlooking the deep fragmented blue of the ocean, on a flat apron of land lying between the tall black basalt cliffs and the rustling palms on the shore.’
    • ‘Past the finish line and the TV cameras that line the apron of the athletics track, through a tunnel and into the bowels of the main stadium lies the mixed zone.’
    1. 2.1 A hard-surfaced area on an airfield used for manoeuvring or parking aircraft.
      ‘the pilot was instructed to park on the main apron’
      • ‘The parking apron is intended for 20 aircraft, or five heavy aircraft and 10 aircraft weighing up to 100 tonnes.’
      • ‘The plane will then return to the apron over the winter before she moves to a purpose-built area within the viewing park next year.’
      • ‘The Jet Centre will include passenger and crew lounges, immigration and Customs facilities and an adjoining business aircraft apron.’
      • ‘The self-styled roving ambassador ignored pleas from CIA security men and walked across the apron at Heathrow to chat to a group of surprised baggage handlers.’
      • ‘So we are not looking into who is on the apron of these airports and around these airplanes.’
      • ‘The upgrading is to include extensions to the runway, taxiway and apron, which will enable it to accommodate bigger aircraft.’
      • ‘‘Goods cannot be taken off the apron at Dublin Airport if they have not been processed by the system,’ he said.’
      • ‘The airport has also built a 92,000-sq-ft apron that can accommodate about 20 aircraft.’
      • ‘He has only just alighted from the aircraft at Beira when he narrows in on a white helicopter parked on the runway apron.’
      • ‘Consequently, FOD can be found on the parking aprons, taxiways, and runways of almost every airport and airbase in the world.’
      • ‘Evening sun is glowing across the aircraft on the apron as incredibly dark clouds loom over distant Amsterdam city centre.’
      • ‘They typically involve inspectors interviewing key personnel and examining operation procedures like snow removal and important areas like runways, taxi ways and aprons.’
      • ‘The deportees were brought from the terminal in a coach and the operation took place at a corner of Stansted airport's apron, well away from other passenger jets.’
      • ‘On arrival on the apron in Baghdad the pilot shuts down the engines as the hot engine backwash and dust need to be eliminated to maximise casualty comfort and well-being.’
      • ‘When work begins in a few days, the small light aircraft apron will be closed.’
      • ‘The airport will be expanded in the second phase where a second terminal will come up along with an apron, second runway and taxiway.’
      • ‘We all knew that position we had to take and waited for the proper sequenced aircraft to pass our position and then we'd pull in behind it and proceed to the runup aprons and takeoff runway.’
      • ‘According to CAF, the Museum precinct will essentially encompass the buildings, hangars and aprons on the airfield side of Williams Road.’
      • ‘They were met on the airport apron by a fleet of coaches and limousines which carried them across the border to Castle Leslie.’
      • ‘This project calls for making a deep cut between the end of a runway and an apron.’
    2. 2.2 A projecting strip of stage for playing scenes in front of the curtain.
      • ‘It is now full daylight and both houses on the apron stage are visible.’
      • ‘On the apron of the stage, with a black backdrop the two bare legged women wore black short shorts.’
      • ‘Her set and costume design are her usual high standard, though the scenes in the abbey seem a little pinched on the apron of the stage.’
      • ‘An apron stage, simple settings, an authentic text, and swift continuity of action were new to critics and public, and not until a similar production of the play in 1914 did he meet with any general acclaim.’
      • ‘He has filled the empty apron stage with a magical, glittering and visually delightful scenes and tableaux to follow the fall from grace of the Master and his lover.’
      • ‘It was the closest work in the program to classical exposition, danced in front of the curtain on the apron, where bends are not really contortions and twists owe something to Yoga.’
      • ‘Choreographers, who are directing from the stage apron, banter with the teachers.’
      • ‘Realism was impossible on the platform-stage of the Elizabethans; and it was almost equally impossible on the apron-stage of the eighteenth century.’
      • ‘Putting his music in his folder, Sean carried that and his violin to her at her place on the apron of the stage.’
      • ‘As it falls, the screen is blacked out and a light opens on the apron, stage right.’
    3. 2.3US An area of asphalt where the drive of a house meets the road.
      • ‘The fire trucks followed us as we rolled to the end and turned into the apron, with hot brakes on the port side.’
      • ‘It would be very wise to include a grid of half-inch diameter reinforcing steel in the concrete apron.’
    4. 2.4 The narrow strip of a boxing ring lying outside the ropes.
      • ‘He jumped on the ring apron seemingly after him but the referee held him off.’
      • ‘He slings himself from the apron over the ropes right into a quebrada on his opponent.’
      • ‘He approached the cadets standing near the ring apron.’
      • ‘However, as Bret was walking back to his corner on the ring apron, Owen was whipped into the ropes, knocking Bret off and into the guard rail.’
      • ‘Plump mothers holding babies in their arms stood right at the ring apron, while their little children looked up saucer-eyed at this god.’
      • ‘She walked over and leaned on the apron of the ring and watched as the men spared.’
      • ‘He sat on the ring apron looking stunned and never appeared likely to beat the ten count of the Italian referee.’
      • ‘He then grabbed his chest and fell off the ring apron, hitting his head on the wooden floor.’
      • ‘But before he entered the ring, he stopped outside the apron and removed his leg.’
      • ‘Then he entered the gym and sat on the apron of the ring to field questions from the media.’
      • ‘She rolls out of the ring and under the ring apron.’
      • ‘The girl wearing a daring short skirt and low cut top stands on the ring apron and seductively calls him over with her index finger and a warm smile.’
      • ‘I'm sitting with the heavyweight champion of the world on the apron of a boxing ring, our legs dangling over its edge.’
      • ‘He gave me press credentials, which allowed me to sit at the ring apron.’
    5. 2.5Geology An extensive outspread deposit of sediment, typically at the foot of a glacier or mountain.
      • ‘Recent faulting is expressed as freshly exposed soil within the colluvial apron visible by its light tan colour.’
      • ‘Each massif consists of a core of andésite lava domes surrounded by aprons of pyroclastic deposits and volcanogenic sediments.’
      • ‘Underwater images of the seabed surrounding the Hawaiian Islands show that they are surrounded by huge aprons of debris shed from their volcanoes over tens of millions of years.’
      • ‘Oceanic volcanic arcs are surrounded by large volcaniclastic aprons, kilometres thick, whose volume may far exceed that of the volcanoes.’
      • ‘As the ratio of extrusion - to spreading-rates falls, the summit dome sinks into the salt apron and the extrusion profile assumes that of a viscous droplet.’
  • 3often as modifier An endless conveyor made of overlapping plates.

    ‘apron feeders bring coarse ore to a grinding mill’
    • ‘The apron feeders are then used to transfer the material to another location.’
    • ‘The apron feeders are preferably equipped with a self-cleaning arrangement to facilitate continuous operation without undue stoppages.’
    • ‘The apron feeders are mounted on wheels so that the apron feeder and feed chute assembly can be easily slid out from underneath the crusher rock box/stockpile.’


  • tied to someone's apron strings

    • Too much under someone's influence and control.

      ‘we have all met sturdy adults who are tied to mother's apron strings’
      • ‘Now it looks like an unwanted child still tied embarrassingly to the parent company's apron strings and destined for a future of neglect.’
      • ‘Plus she had no desire to become permanently tied to Marie 's apron strings, which she knew would be her inevitable fate.’
      • ‘While much popular journalism decried the mother who kept her young boy tied to her apron strings, many mothers worried about their sons' ability to fend for themselves in the peer society.’
      • ‘In other words, he was not one of those males who were tied to their mother's apron strings.’
      • ‘His mother may have passed to the great beyond, but through her writings he is still tied to her apron strings.’
      • ‘Anyway, it can't be bad for a child not to be tied to it's mother's apron strings, even in infancy.’
      • ‘At the end of the day, the interim council is still tied to the American apron strings.’
      • ‘In many other cultures he'd be laughed at, and sent to a psychiatrist for being tied to his mother's apron strings.’
      • ‘Instead of taking charge of its own destiny, the borough remains tied to the county council's apron strings.’
      • ‘You're still tied to her apron strings, believe me.’
      browbeaten, downtrodden, bullied, dominated, nagged, subjugated, oppressed, repressed, intimidated, ground down, without a mind of one's own, tied to someone's apron strings, under someone's heel
      View synonyms


Middle English naperon, from Old French, diminutive of nape, nappe ‘tablecloth’, from Latin mappa ‘napkin’. The n was lost by wrong division of a napron; compare with adder.