Definition of toga in US English:



  • 1A loose flowing outer garment worn by the citizens of ancient Rome, made of a single piece of cloth and covering the whole body apart from the right arm.

    • ‘She had not failed to notice the grand, purple stripe ornamenting his toga.’
    • ‘He built himself a palace on the Aventine, dressed in the toga, cast a medal with the legend ‘Otto Imperator Augustus’ and on the reverse the proud claim 'Renovatio Imperii Romanorum'.’
    • ‘Triumphant in roman toga or plain and corporal-like in long coat and bicorne hat, there are statues of the great Corsican everywhere, streets and squares named after him, prints and portraits of him in every bar and café.’
    • ‘Moreover, the fact that he wears a toga, another sign of Roman citizenship, confirms this reading of his legal status.’
    • ‘That life was not all high thinking and plain living in his circle is shown by a photograph of his friends wearing togas and engaging in a ‘mithraic’ ceremony.’
    • ‘In ancient Rome togas were worn when swimming and bathing reached the height of its popularity.’
    • ‘Senators were recognised by a toga with a broad purple stripe, while the equestrian wore a toga with a narrow purple stripe and a gold finger ring.’
    • ‘My costume consisted of a toga, sandals and a laurel wreath, which Imperial get-up I wore throughout the performance.’
    • ‘Romans wore togas - or so theatre and film would try to convince us.’
    • ‘For honorific statues of emperors and mortals, Romans could be portrayed in togas, in military garb, as naked or half-draped figures after Greek prototypes, or on horseback in equestrian statues.’
    • ‘Found among the fragments was a full-length marble relief portrait of a man and a woman dressed in Roman attire; he wears a tunic and toga and she a tunic and palla.’
    • ‘He insisted on representing himself at his trial, and wore a white sheet wrapped around him like a toga during closing arguments, insisting he was a prophet.’
    • ‘Antony displayed Caesar's body, still wrapped in its blood-stained toga, the knife holes visible.’
    • ‘In the pre-spring festival senators and slave owners would put aside their stately togas and kindred marks of rank and don shapeless garments known as syntheses.’
    • ‘He is a mature, barefoot, and bearded man in archaic costume, the toga sine tunica, which leaves most of his chest and right shoulder and arm bare.’
    • ‘Quintus fumbled with the ceremonial toga of the Urban Prefect, thick with gold embroidery.’
    • ‘And in the Roman Empire, purple togas signified elite status.’
    • ‘This is the kind of school that forces the students to dress up in togas for classics competitions; these are the kind of students who are so docile they actually wear them with pride.’
    • ‘In Roman times, men standing for public office would wear white togas to signify their purity.’
    • ‘Instead they've placed their saga on a nameless isle, set it during the Roman Empire, dressed their characters in togas and sent them off to prepare for a series of great battles.’
    1. 1.1 A robe of office; a mantle of responsibility, etc.


Latin; related to tegere ‘to cover’.