Definition of poncho in English:



  • 1A garment of a type originally worn in South America, made of a thick piece of woollen cloth with a slit in the middle for the head.

    • ‘The ethnic Mapuche who live on the island of Chiloé still use a traditional loom to weave sweaters and ponchos from sheep wool.’
    • ‘Women specialized in making clothing, such as ponchos, loincloths, and skirts.’
    • ‘In 2005, kaftans will take over where ponchos and capes left off: everyone from Michael Kors to Paul Smith has done one.’
    • ‘While the young often wear Western-style clothing, the older Peruvians wear more traditional handwoven garments such as ponchos and sandals.’
    • ‘In small factories in or near Otavalo, the Indians make heavy wool sweaters, ponchos, hats and blankets, all in bright colors and traditional designs.’
    • ‘The water was cool, the wooden bench, covered with a woollen poncho, seemed most comfortable, and the view was marvellous…’
    • ‘Judging by the alpaca ponchos and lederhosen on display, I'd have to say Peru and Germany.’
    • ‘As well as big Peruvian ponchos, pretty lace blouses, bead-encrusted bags and the sassiest dresses in town, you'll find something altogether more elusive.’
    • ‘Traditionally, Bolivian men living on the Altiplano would wear homemade trousers and a poncho.’
    • ‘In the northwest, the Indians wear ponchos, colorful skirts, and bowler hats.’
    • ‘Capes, ponchos and crocheted wraps were teamed with pants and even skirts.’
    • ‘Maybe a shawl, maybe a poncho… but it is fun to do, nevertheless.’
    • ‘He wore handmade wool sweaters and long Mexican ponchos.’
    • ‘Some indigenous deputies make a strong cultural presence on the floor wearing traditional Andean ear-flap hats and ponchos and chewing coca leaves.’
    • ‘Men wear trousers, shirts, and woven ponchos (capes).’
    • ‘So to fill up some spare time and use some oddments of wool I had left I've knitted my eldest grand-daughter a poncho and matching pixie hat.’
    • ‘It's Poncho Day and everyone in the studio audience, the crew, comedian David Spade, and Martha are cloaked in knitted ponchos like the one Martha made famous when she left Alderson.’
    • ‘No bulls are killed during the bullfights; instead, toreros show their bravery by closely engaging the animals with their ponchos, jackets, or homemade capes.’
    • ‘For day, wide tweed trousers, a crocheted sweater, a poncho and a hat is a great flamboyant look, or a wrap dress and a bright yellow or green tweed coat with blue tights and fabulous shoes.’
    • ‘The exhibition is a showcase for the work of the Nagle Group and it features beautiful handmade crafts such as babies' blankets, christening gowns, scarves, hats, ponchos and many other items.’
    cloak, mantle, shawl, wrap, stole, tippet
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A waterproof garment in the style of a poncho worn as a raincoat.
      • ‘Designer ponchos from Gucci and Burberry retail in excess of 200.’
      • ‘Five minutes, 10 dollars and a few less pride points later, he left the store with the waterproof foundation and two ponchos in hand.’
      • ‘You just need to pray that it does not rain or, to be on the safe side, bring one of those plastic poncho raincoats that fits in your purse.’
      • ‘I had a gnawing feeling all day that I was being followed and then, sure enough, I spotted her peeping out from under a waterproof poncho not ten yards behind me.’
      • ‘Inside each complimentary cold bag, nestled below the half-bottle of Champagne and assorted supermarket delicacies, was a serviceable souvenir rain poncho.’
      • ‘When I stepped out, I needed an umbrella, or poncho, to keep dry.’
      • ‘The eighth T in the Park became a sea of colour as thousands of fans donned free yellow waterproof ponchos to protect themselves from the unseasonal weather.’
      • ‘Even the official waterproof ponchos protecting spectators from the Paris drizzle came in the distinctive bright yellow colour.’
      • ‘Ever thoughtful to their customer's needs, Neiman Marcus also makes these plain tiny umbrellas and waterproof poncho.’
      • ‘Twelve years ago, she landed here, in a backpack and rain poncho.’
      • ‘There was no Goretex, waterproof poncho or other warm-fuzzy gear in GI Joe's haversack.’
      • ‘A young guy in glasses - not unattractive - is dancing in some kind of plastic poncho.’
      • ‘My nine-year-old, Sam, is somewhere in that poncho, paddling a zig-zagging course between the vine-cloaked banks of the quiet waterway.’
      • ‘Some were selling t-shirts and plastic couches, while others sold ponchos and rainwear.’
      • ‘Just £16 - £18 gets you a seat on an open-topped omnibus for a hop-on hop-off tour of the capital, plus a free plastic poncho if it rains.’
      • ‘In fact the dancing in water antics are so boisterous that audience members on the front row were issued with special theme-park style ponchos to wear before the show.’
      • ‘Today we may find ourselves in the rain so I'll get to use my official Tour de Georgia poncho, also known as a bright orange trashbag.’
      • ‘Don a high-tech silver poncho and sip a frosty vodka cocktail from glasses cut from solid blocks of ice while admiring the frozen sculptures.’
      • ‘Even combat boots, ponchos, and clothing were lacking and always ‘on requisition.’’
      • ‘Thought it'd be too easy otherwise, even with this poncho I unthinkingly brought along.’


Early 18th century: from South American Spanish, from Araucanian.