Definition of kirtle in English:



  • 1A woman's gown or outer petticoat.

    • ‘Very striking, the balance between the simple solid color of the kirtle and the elegant trim.’
    • ‘In England, kirtles were normally gowns with tight fitting bodices.’
    • ‘I chose to make the silk kirtle because I found fabric that I wanted to use for this dress.’
    • ‘The Virgin invariably wears a dark blue gown, sometimes over a minever kirtle with plain undergarment, to stress her high status.’
    • ‘This fabric will be the front of the kirtle with the red linen serving as lining and body of dress.’
    1. 1.1A man's tunic or coat.
      • ‘Moira, a 45-year-old checkout manager at the local Safeway store, admits her husband would not have the same pride wearing a kilt as the kirtle, the ornate and authentic Viking costume.’
      • ‘The bowmen were dressed in green kirtles, rather shorter than those of the squires, and wore dark woolen hose; they carried their bows and arrows slung across their shoulders.’
      • ‘Men wore hats or caps, a kirtle or knee-length coat, shirt, waistcoat, trousers, woolen stockings, and shoes or high boots.’


Old English cyrtel, of Germanic origin, probably based on Latin curtus short.