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n. Archaic
1. A man's knee-length tunic or coat.
2. A woman's dress or skirt.

[Middle English kirtel, from Old English cyrtel, probably ultimately from Latin curtus, short; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Clothing & Fashion) a woman's skirt or dress
2. (Clothing & Fashion) a man's coat
[Old English cyrtel, probably from cyrtan to shorten, ultimately from Latin curtus cut short]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkɜr tl)

1. a woman's loose gown, worn in the Middle Ages.
2. Archaic. a man's tunic or coat.
[before 900; Old English cyrtel, appar. derivative of cyrt(an) to shorten (« Latin curtus shortened)]
kir′tled, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.kirtle - a garment resembling a tunic that was worn by men in the Middle Ages
tunic - any of a variety of loose fitting cloaks extending to the hips or knees
2.kirtle - a long dress worn by women
dress, frock - a one-piece garment for a woman; has skirt and bodice
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
why he hath stolen every plack of clothing off my back, if that be a wrong, and hath left me here in this sorry frock of white falding, so that I have shame to go back to my wife, lest she think that I have donned her old kirtle. Harrow and alas that ever I should have met him!"
``She is but changing her head-gear,'' replied a female attendant, with as much confidence as the favourite lady's-maid usually answers the master of a modern family; ``you would not wish her to sit down to the banquet in her hood and kirtle? and no lady within the shire can be quicker in arraying herself than my mistress.''
To dance these Damosels them dight, these Lasses light of laits, Their Gloves were of the Raffal right, their Shoes were of the Straits; Their Kirtles were of Lincoln-light, well prest with many Plaits; They were so nice when Men them neigh'd they squell'd like any Gaits, Full loud that day.
The knights discarded their armour, the ladies slid out of their embroidered kirtles, often into the pagan nakedness of Zambaco's classical Greece.
There are of course many more instances of "good, efficient and competent work" being done in Kirtles, but the question is, will the good people of Hunley, Millham, Lintwhite, Misfield, Kirkpatrick, Bistable or even Czechisation continue to believe that their hard earned taxes really are being spent wisely by a four star rated council who had to reprint a cycling map and still get it wrong?
This eaving I putup halfe a mile above the first French house and heare found tents of Indaines, I now find by those people and by thinges that I see heare that the people of Canada are neare hand I has seen here bouth cloth and hats & kirtles & blankets and tobacoo, shirtes and all such like things that these people has got from them and the say that thare is four large canews of them neare at hand with four people in each canew ...
A further puzzle is how much space the full sail of Elizabethan female regalia--farthingales, bumrolls, kirtles, gowns, puffed sleeves--would occupy, whether seated or standing.
RJ Martin Lawrence Mamma Jenkins Margaret Avery Bianca Kirtles Joy Bryant Marry Louis C.K.