Definition of dirndl in US English:



  • 1A full, wide skirt with a tight waistband.

    • ‘Then women wear embroidered blouses, lace aprons, and full, dirndl skirts.’
    • ‘The fifties story continues too with brightly coloured boxy jackets, pretty frocks, knife pleat dresses and printed dirndl skirt dominating the summer scene.’
    • ‘The women tended to wear tight black sweaters and full dirndl skirts, which became a kind of uniform for parties in those days; hair was long to the shoulders or swept up on top, Edwardian-style.’
    • ‘So the men wore simple shirts and trousers and women zippered pink cotton frocks and pink ballet shoes (perhaps the fatal anomaly), rather than dirndls and bare feet or sandals.’
    • ‘Avoid bulky dirndls and tiered skirts, and bias-cut skirts that cling to curves.’
    • ‘She cares about the beautiful clothing as well as the dirndls and uniforms, and she cares about who designed them, who sewed them, who bought them, who wore them and why.’
    • ‘His current winter collection features slouch pants, lustrous shirt dresses, halter tops and knee-length dirndl skirts in a predominantly black, white and camel palette.’
    • ‘By the time you reach your mid-30s you may no longer want to sparkle out in a patterned dirndl skirt, leggings and off-the-shoulder top.’
    • ‘Among the must-have items from the Paris / Milan catwalks were floral summer dresses and separates, dirndls, halter necks and twin-sets, which were popular in the 1950s.’
    • ‘The dresses of the female characters incorporate dirndl skirts with wide seventeenth-century collars, while the scene in the Procters' kitchen features kitsch checked tablecloths.’
    • ‘How many grown women, looking back on their childhoods, shudder to remember having pink forced upon them, along with dirndl skirts and Barbie dolls?’
    • ‘Mrs Anton arrived in a ruffly blouse and ribbon-trimmed dirndl skirt that made her look greyer than ever, and Michael wore a pinchy suit that might have been his father's.’
  • 2A woman's dress in the style of Alpine peasant costume, with a full skirt and a close-fitting bodice.

    • ‘Most typical and best known by those outside Austria is the dirndl.’
    • ‘‘Well, we both need the extra credit, and Frau said she'd give anyone who participated fifteen extra points on the next project,’ answered Mindy dryly, smoothing out the pleats in the apron of her dirndl.’
    • ‘Enter stage right, Karin Stoiber, 60 years of age, in dark, well-cut suit or dirndl, the traditional Bavarian dress, and sensible shoes.’
    • ‘She even admits to wearing dirndl, a traditional Bavarian costume with an embroidered bodice and a homely apron.’
    • ‘While costumes such as kimono, dirndl and military uniforms are understood as national costumes, my definition of costumes in the cultural mapping process is much broader.’
    • ‘Just in case a passing tourist might suddenly decide to impulse buy a poker-worked Alpenstock, a set of cowbells in diminishing sizes, or a Heidi doll in dirndl and plaits.’
    • ‘They were dressed like they're headed to an SCA meeting in Holland, absurd dirndls and some chunky shoes that just screamed ‘white and proud.’’
    • ‘It is set in an unpromising block, but once you heft aside the wooden door you find yourself in an old apothecary, with glass-fronted cabinets, wood-panelled walls and waitresses in dirndls.’
    • ‘Will it be Bavarian dirndls or the slinky black number?’
    • ‘The German population didn't like this move, and they showed it by wearing national costumes, like lederhosen and dirndls.’
    • ‘Bavarian bar keepers have been told that the dirndl, generally rather revealing, will have to be replaced as it offers no protection against what the directive calls ‘natural sources of radiation’, meaning sunlight.’
    • ‘I wanted to be up there in a dirndl, not lederhosen!’


1930s: from south German dialect, diminutive of Dirne ‘girl’.