One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A loose dress or blouse, with the upper part closely gathered in smocking.
- ‘They seemed an almost comically suburban couple: polite, a little posh, all golf jumpers and floral smocks.’
- ‘The earliest bathing suit in modern history consisted of an old outfit of clothes, then it was a smock resembling a kind of ‘bathing gown’.’
- ‘Mr Blair was wearing a black and blue T-shirt, jeans and training shoes, while his wife was dressed for the heat in multi-coloured patterned trousers, a white smock and trainers.’
- ‘Women generally wear a loose, scoop-necked smock over a long skirt made by a wrap-around piece of cloth.’
- ‘Big smocks, lacy cardigans and wide trousers were the backbone of a collection that carried echoes of high-school uniforms and American small-town culture.’
- 1.1 A loose garment worn over one's clothes to protect them.‘an artist's smock’
- ‘So he exchanged his football boots for an artist's smock and threw himself wholeheartedly into painting.’
- ‘Have the kids wear old clothes or provide large plastic bags with holes cut in the bottom and sides so they can slip over heads and arms for a protective smock.’
- ‘He wore a smock, gardening gloves, and a pair of half-moon glasses with a smudge of mud on them.’
- ‘A short, plump man in a heavy smock over a dark jacket, sat in a one horse chaise and raised his hat.’
- ‘His clothes were a blue smock that must have been designated for volunteers.’
- 1.2historical A smocked linen overgarment worn by an agricultural worker.
- ‘Even allowing for Will Fern's smock-frock, the usual garment of the rural labourer throughout the 19th c., the costumes of The Chimes reveal a consistent sense of taste, style, and design.’
- ‘Smocks or smock-frocks were the traditional garb of country labourers and agricultural workers in the eighteenth century, dating back to much earlier times, and remaining popular in some areas well into the nineteenth century.’
- ‘Ploughmen in clean smock-frocks yoke themselves with ropes to the plough, ribbons and bunches of corn in their hats.’
- ‘Girls returning from the maize fields, in their red gowns, white smock-frocks, and yellow or red headkerchiefs, stroll through the meadows like moving flowers.’
- ‘There were no smock-frocks, even among the country folk; they retarded motion, and were apt to catch on machinery, and so the habit of wearing them had died out.’
verb[with object]usually as adjective smocked
Decorate (something) with smocking.‘smocked dresses’
- ‘Frozen solid in her smocked white dress, Dorothy realised she wasn't in Kansas anymore.’
- ‘Grrr finally she picked a lovely pink smocked top reduced to a tenner.’
- ‘Alberta Ferretti's romantic, smocked silk blouses and Greek maiden gowns were delightfully soft, as was Consuelo Castiglioni's Marni collection.’
- ‘The sleeves flirt with flared puffs and completely slit up, ruffled and smocked sleeves.’
- ‘Look in the pattern books for suitable patterns or see ‘Sources’ at the end of this article for companies selling a variety of patterns for children's smocked clothing.’
Old English smoc ‘woman's loose-fitting undergarment’; probably related to Old English smūgan ‘to creep’ and Old Norse smjúga ‘put on a garment, creep into’.
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