A woman’s loose gown of a kind fashionable during the 17th and 18th centuries.
- Born George Waldron, near Dublin, the son of a silversmith and a mantua maker, he'd run away from grammar school at 16 (after he stabbed another schoolboy in a fight) and joined a bank of strolling players.
- A woman originally wore a mantua as a robe when resting at home, but by the late 17th century it became fitted at her waist.
- The princess wore a mantua and petticoat, white damask with the finest embroidery of rich embossed gold.
alteration of French manteau.
Entry from British & World English dictionary