1. a usually lightweight, loose-fitting garment for women and children, covering the body from the neck or shoulders more or less to the waistline, with or without a collar and sleeves, worn inside or outside a skirt, slacks, etc.
  2. a single-breasted, semifitted military jacket.
  3. a loose outer garment, reaching to the hip or thigh, or below the knee, and sometimes belted.Compare smock frock.

verb (used without object), bloused, blous·ing.

  1. to puff out in a drooping fullness, as a blouse above a fitted waistband.

verb (used with object), bloused, blous·ing.

  1. to dispose the material of a garment in loose folds, as trouser legs over the tops of boots.


  1. a woman’s shirtlike garment made of cotton, nylon, etc
  2. a loose-fitting smocklike garment, often knee length and belted, worn esp by E European peasants
  3. a loose-fitting waist-length belted jacket worn by soldiers


  1. to hang or make so as to hang in full loose folds

1828 (from 1822 as a French word in English), from French blouse, “workman’s or peasant’s smock” (1788), origin unknown. Perhaps akin to Provençal (lano) blouso “short (wool)” [Gamillscheg]. Another suggestion [Klein] is that it is from Medieval Latin pelusia, from Pelusium, a city in Upper Egypt, supposedly a clothing manufacturing center in the Middle Ages.

In Paris, a very slovenly, loose, drawn frock, with most capacious sleeves, had been introduced called a blouse. Some of our priestesses of the toilet seemed emulous of copying this deshabille, with some slight alterations, but we never wish to see it on the symmetrical form of a British lady. [“Summary of Fashion for 1822,” in “Museum of Foreign Literature and Science,” Jan.-June 1823]

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