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’
    • ‘Sighing, I reached in the front pocket of my apron for my note pad and proceeded to the elderly couple.’
    • ‘He was not dressed as that of the papacy; instead he wore dirtied peasant clothes with an apron tied around his waist.’
    • ‘Ginger appeared from out of the kitchen wearing an apron over her clothes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They nodded and she dug in one of the many pockets of her apron until she produced two large suckers, which they took gratefully.’
    • ‘Nurses wear protective plastic aprons over their uniforms while performing tasks in Scottish hospitals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Amy pulled a letter from the front pocket of her apron.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then women wear embroidered blouses, lace aprons, and full, dirndl skirts.’
    • ‘Old women shuffling along bent almost beyond 90 degrees in their gumboots and floral aprons with bundles of clothes tied over there backs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wear old clothes or an apron, because the solution will discolor and eat through fabric.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wear gloves, aprons, and other protective clothing to keep your skin from coming in contact with oils, greases, and chemicals.’
    • ‘She wore a rather worn dress and an apron with pockets full of spools.’
    • ‘One of the sisters offers a protective apron to me; I accept it.’
    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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The initiate returns wearing his apron.’
    2. 1.2 A sheet of lead worn to shield the body during an X-ray examination.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If so, you may be asked to wear a lead apron to shield you from exposure to X-rays.’
      • ‘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 shields or aprons should be available for staff members in the event an intraoperative x-ray is needed.’
      • ‘Although you should generally avoid X-rays during pregnancy, a lead apron that covers your pelvis and abdomen can shield your unborn baby.’
      • ‘We have flown with our toddler and covered her with a lead apron used for taking x-rays.’
      • ‘Radiographers wear a lead apron or go behind a protective screen to avoid repeated exposure to x-rays.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimise the amount of radiation.’
      • ‘Usually the film badge is worn underneath the lead apron, which introduces a very serious underestimation of the real dose.’
      • ‘All personnel who remained in the room during CT fluoroscopic imaging wore lead aprons.’
  • 2A small area adjacent to another larger area or structure.

    ‘a tiny apron of garden’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Alicia also laid claim to the small apron of land behind the cottage, with a well and a water pump.’
    • ‘It is that small apron of land at the entrance to the old railway tunnel under Mill Hill Road from the Arctic Road end.’
    • ‘A further R400-million was spent upgrading adjacent aprons and the roads infrastructure in the vicinity of the airport.’
    • ‘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 person in that photograph is standing in line with where the applicant's body was found on the concrete apron straight after the fall.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Recently we asked the proprietor if we could rent or buy it and a small apron of land around in which to grown herbs.’
    • ‘The brook trout lived in the deep pot outside that little apron of land.’
    • ‘The routes will meet at the apron of the Front Garden at the junction of the old railway track and the old canal.’
    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’
      • ‘They typically involve inspectors interviewing key personnel and examining operation procedures like snow removal and important areas like runways, taxi ways and aprons.’
      • ‘This project calls for making a deep cut between the end of a runway and an apron.’
      • ‘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 parking apron is intended for 20 aircraft, or five heavy aircraft and 10 aircraft weighing up to 100 tonnes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Jet Centre will include passenger and crew lounges, immigration and Customs facilities and an adjoining business aircraft apron.’
      • ‘‘Goods cannot be taken off the apron at Dublin Airport if they have not been processed by the system,’ he said.’
      • ‘According to CAF, the Museum precinct will essentially encompass the buildings, hangars and aprons on the airfield side of Williams Road.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When work begins in a few days, the small light aircraft apron will be closed.’
      • ‘They were met on the airport apron by a fleet of coaches and limousines which carried them across the border to Castle Leslie.’
      • ‘So we are not looking into who is on the apron of these airports and around these airplanes.’
      • ‘Evening sun is glowing across the aircraft on the apron as incredibly dark clouds loom over distant Amsterdam city centre.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The upgrading is to include extensions to the runway, taxiway and apron, which will enable it to accommodate bigger aircraft.’
      • ‘He has only just alighted from the aircraft at Beira when he narrows in on a white helicopter parked on the runway apron.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Consequently, FOD can be found on the parking aprons, taxiways, and runways of almost every airport and airbase in the world.’
      • ‘The airport will be expanded in the second phase where a second terminal will come up along with an apron, second runway and taxiway.’
      • ‘The airport has also built a 92,000-sq-ft apron that can accommodate about 20 aircraft.’
    2. 2.2 A projecting strip of stage for playing scenes in front of the curtain.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is now full daylight and both houses on the apron stage are visible.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On the apron of the stage, with a black backdrop the two bare legged women wore black short shorts.’
      • ‘As it falls, the screen is blacked out and a light opens on the apron, stage right.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Choreographers, who are directing from the stage apron, banter with the teachers.’
    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.
      • ‘She rolls out of the ring and under the ring apron.’
      • ‘Then he entered the gym and sat on the apron of the ring to field questions from the media.’
      • ‘I'm sitting with the heavyweight champion of the world on the apron of a boxing ring, our legs dangling over its edge.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But before he entered the ring, he stopped outside the apron and removed his leg.’
      • ‘He jumped on the ring apron seemingly after him but the referee held him off.’
      • ‘He then grabbed his chest and fell off the ring apron, hitting his head on the wooden floor.’
      • ‘He slings himself from the apron over the ropes right into a quebrada on his opponent.’
      • ‘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 approached the cadets standing near the ring apron.’
      • ‘He gave me press credentials, which allowed me to sit at 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.’
    5. 2.5Geology An extensive outspread deposit of sediment, typically at the foot of a glacier or mountain.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 3often as modifier An endless conveyor made of overlapping plates.

    ‘apron feeders bring coarse ore to a grinding mill’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The apron feeders are preferably equipped with a self-cleaning arrangement to facilitate continuous operation without undue stoppages.’
    • ‘The apron feeders are then used to transfer the material to another location.’


  • 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’
      • ‘His mother may have passed to the great beyond, but through her writings he is still tied to her apron strings.’
      • ‘In other words, he was not one of those males who were tied to their mother's apron strings.’
      • ‘Plus she had no desire to become permanently tied to Marie 's apron strings, which she knew would be her inevitable fate.’
      • ‘Anyway, it can't be bad for a child not to be tied to it's mother's apron strings, even in infancy.’
      • ‘You're still tied to her apron strings, believe me.’
      • ‘Now it looks like an unwanted child still tied embarrassingly to the parent company's apron strings and destined for a future of neglect.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Instead of taking charge of its own destiny, the borough remains tied to the county council's apron strings.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.