Definition of drapery in US English:


nounPlural draperies

  • 1Cloth coverings hanging in loose folds.

    ‘the hall of the school was hung with green drapery’
    • ‘Flowing draperies are not only cumbersome but actively dangerous.’
    • ‘It had light green draperies attached, creating a romantic warmth.’
    • ‘His paintings of this time had a magical and apocalyptic character, with hazy shapes and swirling draperies fading into the landscape.’
    • ‘Chen emphasises the pleasant and relaxed leisure of the court ladies, while not forgetting to emphasise their feminine charms - their fragile bodies wrapped in magnificent silk clothing and draperies.’
    • ‘Act II was danced before a simple but properly dreamy set of draperies.’
    • ‘The bold foreshortening and the swirling draperies create an intensely dramatic composition.’
    • ‘Women of the brothel were said to wear transparent cloth, and vase-painters paid great attention to how much of a woman's body was visible beneath her draperies, an indication of her sexual availability and/or the quality of the material.’
    • ‘She was bleached by being so much indoors, and looked very fragile in the costly simplicity of her black draperies as she entered.’
    • ‘Naked areas are set off by ravishing textiles, and body parts, particularly, are often framed by gorgeously patterned and richly folded draperies.’
    • ‘We developed a cloth system that allowed the artists to place draperies in the player's path, which creates a very sensuous feeling, and a glow system that adds texture and magic to the light.’
    • ‘Burmeister's version ends happily, but not without Siegfried struggling in the water, coming up for air, and with Odile restored to her virginal white draperies.’
    • ‘There, it is a sharply bent elbow or a protruding knee that becomes a kind of fulcrum and guide for radiating and zigzagging patterns of wrinkles and folds in the draperies.’
    • ‘Canopies, finely executed pillars, draperies folded in gentle scallops and garlands lend to her pictures an aura of opulence.’
    • ‘The fine draperies and linens had been removed along with the fine works of art and small sculptures.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the same kind of surface treatment is to be found in the various draperies scattered on the steps of the temple as a result the heretical abandonment of the cult of the Goddess of Love.’
    • ‘The flying draperies of the half-clad figures behind them are of silk, unknown in the time of Heliogabalus.’
    • ‘Ceiling draperies delineated the claustrophobic furnace of the harem and its imprisoned occupants.’
    • ‘These draperies, of cream linen burlap, hang in her own West Vancouver home.’
    • ‘Are these textiles Baroque draperies, shrouds or the curtains of a luxurious four-poster bed defiled and destroyed?’
    • ‘I saw a sleekly tailored, highly social downtown real estate broker feting compadres at a table in a compartment created by all those velvet draperies, and he was greeted by a doting staff as a prized regular.’
    drape, curtain, drop, drop cloth, drop curtain, drop scene, tableau curtain, frontal, dossal
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The artistic arrangement of clothing in sculpture or painting.
      ‘the effigy is notable for its flowing drapery’
      • ‘Manet even kept the screen and drapery of Boucher's painting, but transposed them from right to left, as in a mirror image.’
      • ‘The strings of the harp held by the furthest angel on the left were picked out in gold against the dark blue drapery of his sleeve, as were the bells on his companion's tambourine.’
      • ‘But raising the right arm instead of the left or veiling a nude figure with drapery were not the only ways of taking possession of another's image or object.’
      • ‘We can detect a loosening of the brush in some of Garofalo's other paintings, notably in the drapery and visually resonant landscape of the Suxena Altarpiece.’
      • ‘The change of the arrangement of the hair from the sensuously spilling curls of the Venus to the modest chignon of a Diana produces the same fateful tension embodied in the simultaneously modest and revealing drapery.’
      • ‘A view from her right, though hard to obtain, would reveal how the flowing drapery had reinforced her pointing gesture, which originally directed the viewer's attention toward the altar.’
      • ‘In his analysis of drapery, what Boselli valued above all was the clarity with which the drapery conveyed the body beneath it and the ability of well-designed drapery to enhance the figure's pose or action.’
      • ‘The rhetorical quality of gesture and patterns of drapery are influenced by ancient sculpture.’
      • ‘The drapery is one of the best understood among the modern works, but much inferior to the aforementioned antiques.’
      • ‘Within Duquesnoy's circle, the well-established association between Greek sculpture and the nude seems to have held clear implications for the rendering of drapery.’
      • ‘Her right hand shields her pubic area, while her left arm is raised at the elbow and her left hand holds a piece of drapery that falls onto an amphora.’
      • ‘The artist also parallels the columnar folds of Peace's drapery and the regular fluting of the columns behind her.’
      • ‘While other sculptors made use of clinging drapery, they rarely did so with naturalistic consistency.’
      • ‘This approach to drapery was at odds with the spectrum of mainstream contemporary sculpture as practiced by both its most and least innovative exponents.’
      • ‘Her left arm lies strangely inert on her thigh, her fingers determinedly gripping her own drapery, while her right arm is raised, the barely carved hand seeming to stroke John's face.’
      • ‘But the perfection of this statue consists principally in its drapery, for it is totally clothed.’
      • ‘In Dang, elaborate folds of drapery and heads of big hair, viewed from behind, are the predominant motifs.’
      • ‘The lower part of her mantle cascades in regular folds, but the hem represents a noticeable display of wind blown drapery.’
      • ‘Braque revived the Western idea of the female nude, also the drapery depicted is another traditional element.’
      • ‘The highly unusual drapery of the bronze statue in Milan is, we believe, fashioned in direct reference to this legend, tying the statue to this originary image.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘cloth, fabrics’): from Old French draperie, from drap ‘cloth’ (see draper).