Definition of pinafore in US English:



  • 1A collarless sleeveless dress, tied or buttoned in the back and typically worn as a jumper, over a blouse or sweater.

    • ‘‘She wasn't too keen on the blouse and tie, and couldn't understand why she had to wear a shirt under her pinafore,’ Ms Burke said.’
    • ‘She obviously has Italian blood in her though so she pulls of the weight her curves straining at the childish cut pinafore.’
    • ‘Snowballs sneaked in under pinafores had reduced the wooden floor to a soggy, slippery mess, unimproved by the urine of several little girls taken short by the excitement of it all.’
    • ‘It had been over fifty years since their last incarnation, since her last trial, as attested by the faded 1950's pinafore she wore when she visited the servants.’
    • ‘There are baggy cinched-ankle satin pants, sexy cotton pinafores, and embroidered T-shirts, perforated tulle overlays, crystal beaded dresses and sheer shell tops.’
    • ‘The range has long been associated with authentic and durable denims as well as hickory-striped dungarees, pinafore dresses and carpenter jeans.’
    • ‘A tanned woman with very blonde hair and long legs, wearing a sheer pinafore and a light-blue bikini underneath, climbed on to a table and started taking photographs.’
    • ‘The raintrees provided a cover of dappled sunlight for guests as they quaffed jam and scones with a cup of tea served in pannikins by women in pinafores and lace caps, all in aid of the 125th anniversary of the Territory's first homestead.’
    • ‘A seven-way skirmish then broke out over a pinafore dress costing 10p, which escalated into a full-scale melee resulting in another 18 lives being lost.’
    • ‘Jane is led into a long room filled with the other pupils of Lowood Institution, no more than eighty, in brown frocks and long holland pinafores, in their hour of study.’
    • ‘For something more fun and casual, we have this pinafore dress and this button down dress both from Urban Outfitters.’
    • ‘Her stylish yet extremely wearable little girl's outfit consisted of white cotton jersey t-shirt worn under a cream cotton pinafore dress with mint green band detail and white flowers with pink stitching.’
    • ‘As a matter of fact, I always had a vision that my secondary school uniform would be the blue pinafore dress with the white blouse inside.’
    • ‘The pinafore had shoulder straps that were fastened by a pair of oval brooches, one below each shoulder.’
    • ‘And with that, she walked inside, put on one of her older dresses, a pinafore, and tied her hair back with a handkerchief to keep it from getting in her way.’
    • ‘I shoved the book over at Matt, smudging Leah's school pinafore with my thumb as I did.’
    • ‘Everyone has seen pictures of those buxom Oktoberfest waitresses in their low-cut folk costume pinafores.’
    • ‘She wore a blue pinafore with the crest of her preschool emblazoned on the left breast and a plain white T-shirt underneath it.’
    • ‘Their collection includes an extra wide pinafore dress, satin edged wide parka coats in burnt orange, sideways shift dresses and sarong skirts.’
    1. 1.1 A woman's loose sleeveless garment, typically full length and worn over clothes to keep them clean.
      • ‘Cyzarine put her pinafore on and heard talking in the hallways.’
      • ‘And sometimes, when I'm in the right mood, I'll braid my hair, tie on a pinafore and whip up a batch of cornpone!’
      • ‘So after she'd removed her white pinafore and put on her black coat over the gray dress she wore, Josie put on her hat and gloves and found a basket in which to carry things in.’
      • ‘An elderly woman appeared in the doorway, wearing a faded red dress and a pinafore apron.’
      • ‘As Abbey put her stained pinafore in the sink, she wondered what in the world could make her older sister so sweet on Shad one moment, and then on Zongala the next.’
      • ‘As she stood up, Josie straightened her gray dress's pleated skirt and made sure her white pinafore was tied in the back; it had become custom to do so after fifteen years of scolding.’
      • ‘It's a horrible place that deserves to be carpet bombed for being Tory and devoid of anywhere decent to eat, we ended up having to retreat into a hotel that was so old-fashioned it still had maids that dressed in pinafores.’
      • ‘The plump waitress in a plain pink pinafore and dirty apron smiled a gap-toothed grin, red curls pinned back in hair netting.’
      • ‘She was dressed in a green pinafore, the sort nannies wore.’
      • ‘They were dressed in traditional black and white pinafores, with perky white hats, like something from a previous age, but the cuisine was nouvelle in comparison.’
      • ‘She wore the same gray dress, black tights, and white pinafore she'd worn almost everyday of her entire life.’
      • ‘I ripped off the stupid bloody pinafore that they made me wear and threw it at Trevor, along with my order pad.’
      • ‘The basket was upended in her lap, and one of her bottles had not rolled but had instead emptied its contents into her pinafore, resulting in a spreading red stain and a sharp vinegary smell.’
      • ‘When inside the artwork she wears a careful reproduction of the clothing worn by the model, and when she returns to the real world, she is wearing the pinafore just as before.’
      • ‘I shall be back as soon as I have a fresh pinafore on.’
      • ‘She gripped tightly on her pinafore, creasing it more than any lady would have approved of, and bobbed into a curtsy.’
      • ‘Anna Sui has picked up on the sarafan - a peasant pinafore dating from the turn of the 18th century.’
      • ‘I have to wear a uniform on school days - a burgundy blazer and grey pinafore.’
      • ‘St Peter's Smithills Dean pupils got into the spirit of things by dressing up in 1930s costume, including flat caps and pinafores, and re-enacted scenes from the photographs.’
    2. 1.2 A sleeveless apronlike garment worn over a child's dress.
      • ‘A blur of a pinafore and ruffles met my eyes as my little sister Lotte barreled down the stairs.’
      • ‘Tessa was drenched completely; Clarissa exclaimed in horror at her sopping dark locks and little pinafore that was dripping on the floor.’
      • ‘Schoolgirls in blue pinafores and white blouses met Blair, singing songs they had learnt in English.’
      • ‘And, of course, that all pregnant women must wear pinafore dresses and ankle socks, no trousers thank you - that would probably be rule number one.’
      • ‘She kept grinning, looking so cute and charming in her little pinafore dress, but every once in while she would look at me with that evil smile and my skin would crack a bit more.’
      • ‘I came home to find her, one evening, dressed in her light blue pinafore dress with a white apron on, she was chopping vegetables with the set of stainless steel Global knives I'd bought her for her birthday.’
      • ‘The butler would not allow any common ragamuffin, and the girl in her fine silk pinafore was far from a ragamuffin, into her boudoir.’
      • ‘Her body was then wrapped in bin liners, shoved into a makeshift bag stitched from Carol's pinafore dress and a rucksack.’
      • ‘Wait,’ called a voice from behind her when a girl wearing a white shirt and a brown pinafore with tights and runners followed her with a boy wearing a blue tee-shirt and jeans.’
      • ‘Why, you may wonder, has the girl in the short-sleeved yellow dress with a blue pinafore, white stockings and Mary Janes jumped so high out of the frame that you don't see her face?’
      • ‘If they wonder, like I do, what became of that little girl in the pinafore dress.’
      • ‘She is a saucer-eyed cutie with soft pink hair, a charming smile, and a demure pinafore dress.’
      • ‘Her red Mary-Janes were next to the sofa-bed, and her pink pinafore dress was mussed.’
      • ‘What makes Sugarfoots dolls unique is their complexion - cocoa, ginger and cinnamon - and the colorful pinafores, pantaloons and overalls each handmade doll wears.’
      • ‘While the new work expands upon themes of her earlier photographs, gone are the young twins in pinafores who enacted troubling excerpts from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.’
      • ‘Suddenly, I find myself holding up one of the tiny outfits with the same cooing glee as my wife had just held up the pinafores and gingham sun dresses.’
      • ‘She's very realistic, she's got real hair and she's wearing a little pinafore and a jersey and so she's a very normal little girl.’
      • ‘Elizabeth dresses in pinafores, bobby sox, and Keds.’
      • ‘I used to wear pinafores and Shirley Temple curls and little Mary Jane shoes.’
      • ‘They were playing marbles on the blacktop, even the girls in their pretty pinafores kneeling on the dirty ground, their knees blackened and tiny little pebbles sticking to their skin.’


Late 18th century: from pin + afore (because the term originally denoted an apron with a bib pinned on the front of a dress).