Definition of gabardine in US English:


(British gaberdine)


  • 1A smooth, durable twill-woven cloth, typically of worsted or cotton.

    • ‘They were basically condemned to flowing tents and baggy ill-fitting gabardine outfits displayed in middle-class department stores.’
    • ‘Authenticity is found in English herringbone, cotton gabardine and corduroy.’
    • ‘He had a light blue gabardine suit with very tight pants.’
    • ‘Firm, stable fabrics such as melton and gabardine hold the cut edge shape with minimal staystitching.’
    • ‘Technology and the Internet are also taking interest away from the wonders of wool and gabardine, he said.’
    • ‘So look for mid-weight gabardine and worsted wool, which are comfortable in all temperatures.’
    • ‘The small size also allows us to observe textural differences, such as the distinction between wool gabardine and cotton shirting, without the substances becoming unduly associative.’
    • ‘You may want a cleaner that is doing a lot of hand ironing and soft steaming as opposed to machine pressing, which is death to a fabric like gabardine.’
    • ‘A good worsted wool has nap or texture, is less subject to shine, and will wear longer than gabardine.’
    • ‘Look for classics updated in fabrics such as corduroy, wool woven in gabardine, herringbone and glen plaid.’
    • ‘They are made of various fabrics (wool crepe, wool gabardine, cotton), but are all dry clean only.’
    • ‘Once we entered the building, I just stared at all the fabric, completely awestruck by all the silk, wool, gabardine - whatever you could possibly want.’
    • ‘Look for all-season fabrics like wool gabardine, cotton blends or rayon crepe.’
    • ‘Although gabardine is a popular fabric, it is one that shines prematurely.’
    • ‘Although my school days were spent wearing dredged-pond green gabardine, I'm now hugely relieved that I never felt any pressure to look good in the classroom.’
    • ‘During World War II he acquired a government contract to manufacture covert and gabardine trousers.’
    • ‘I think price is an issue only when it's a basic replacement item, like a gabardine suit.’
    • ‘For daywear, I have used gabardine and crepe and for evening, there are vibrant silks and chiffon.’
    • ‘Cut sections 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14 and 15 from wool gabardine along the fabric straight of grain.’
    • ‘The tanned, trim body was wearing a blue-and-white striped jersey with the sleeves pushed up and gabardine pants.’
    1. 1.1British A raincoat made of gabardine.
      • ‘Surrounded by a sea of heavy overcoats and gabardines, he finally caught the eye of a barman.’
      • ‘Was that really how I looked, I wondered, how I appeared to others, the gabardine sitting rakishly on the shoulders, the sleeves hanging free?’
      • ‘He also undertook to give a touch to Ignacio-adult's gabardines and shorts.’
      • ‘The firm makes denims, drills, general protective clothing and gaberdines.’
      • ‘They were not much to look at-tanned, tattered, inhabited, maybe, but under their frowsy gaberdines was a complete mail of money belts, and they were just as good as gold.’
      • ‘My last school gaberdine was new for my fourth year, although by then school coat regulation had begun to relax.’
      • ‘They wore jackets of Scotch tweed and flannel suits in winter, blue blazers and gabardines in summer; all of it they'd had tailored by New Haven tailors like Chipp or Langrock's.’
      • ‘The girl wore a wide rimmed black hat full with dark lace, a black gabardine and she stood on the toes of her shinny black buckle shoes to place the rose.’
    2. 1.2usually gaberdinehistorical A loose long upper garment, worn particularly by Jewish men.
      • ‘Outside of the Ghetto the modern Shylock is envisioned as a man of mode, whose proverbial gabardine has been replaced by the latest Parisian cry.’
      • ‘The Jews dressed in long gaberdines, in hats hemmed with fox fur, walk in the streets.’
      • ‘The Jewish quarter, known as Podol, was teeming with Orthodox Jews with their sidelocks and long gaberdines, much like those who lived at the lower end of Krochmalna.’


Early 16th century: from Old French gauvardine, earlier gallevardine, perhaps from Middle High German wallevart ‘pilgrimage’ and originally ‘a garment worn by a pilgrim’. The textile sense is first recorded in the early 20th century.