Share this entry

bloomers Line breaks: bloom¦ers
Pronunciation: /ˈbluːməz/

Definition of bloomers in English:

plural noun

1Women’s loose-fitting knee-length knickers, considered old-fashioned.
Example sentences
  • Other coloured knickers, bloomers, pants and drawers peeping out of the top of low slung trackies do not count.
  • I had on a standard breast band, a loincloth, a camisole and a corset, bloomers, petticoats and then a slip.
  • Eric gave Cathena his coat that he managed to hang onto because, at this point, all the Castillian woman had on was stockings, bloomers and a corset.
1.1 historical Women’s and girls' loose-fitting trousers, gathered at the knee or, originally, the ankle.
Example sentences
  • Given this culture, the delight of abandoning long skirts and dresses, corsets and tight waists, and high button shoes for the bloomers, middy blouses, and comfortable walking shoes of camp was a welcomed liberty.
  • Promoted by feminists such as Frances Willard, the bicycle allowed women independent mobility and gave them reason to wear bloomers rather than sweeping skirts.
  • The ‘official uniform’ consisted of a blue skirt and walking bloomers, a white blouse, a hat, walking shoes, a mackintosh, and a sweater.


Mid 19th century: named after Mrs Amelia J. Bloomer (1818–94), an American social reformer who advocated a similar garment.

  • Bloomers were first trousers gathered at the ankle and worn with a short skirt; they were named after Mrs Amelia J. Bloomer ( 1818–94), an American social reformer who advocated wearing this type of clothing. In the late 19th century, bloomers were considered appropriate for activities such as cycling. At the beginning of the 20th century the name started to be applied to loose knee-length knickers and then colloquially, to any knickers.

Definition of bloomers in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive