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smock

Syllabification: smock
Pronunciation: /smäk
 
/

Definition of smock in English:

noun

1A loose dress or blouse, with the upper part closely gathered in smocking.
Example sentences
  • The earliest bathing suit in modern history consisted of an old outfit of clothes, then it was a smock resembling a kind of ‘bathing gown’.
  • Big smocks, lacy cardigans and wide trousers were the backbone of a collection that carried echoes of high-school uniforms and American small-town culture.
  • Mr Blair was wearing a black and blue T-shirt, jeans and training shoes, while his wife was dressed for the heat in multi-coloured patterned trousers, a white smock and trainers.
1.1A loose garment worn over one’s clothes to protect them: an artist’s smock
More example sentences
  • His clothes were a blue smock that must have been designated for volunteers.
  • Have the kids wear old clothes or provide large plastic bags with holes cut in the bottom and sides so they can slip over heads and arms for a protective smock.
  • He wore a smock, gardening gloves, and a pair of half-moon glasses with a smudge of mud on them.
1.2 (also smock-frock) historical A smocked linen overgarment worn by an agricultural worker.
Example sentences
  • Ploughmen in clean smock-frocks yoke themselves with ropes to the plough, ribbons and bunches of corn in their hats.
  • Girls returning from the maize fields, in their red gowns, white smock-frocks, and yellow or red headkerchiefs, stroll through the meadows like moving flowers.
  • There were no smock-frocks, even among the country folk; they retarded motion, and were apt to catch on machinery, and so the habit of wearing them had died out.

verb

[with object] (usually as adjective smocked) Back to top  
Decorate (something) with smocking: smocked dresses
More example sentences
  • Alberta Ferretti's romantic, smocked silk blouses and Greek maiden gowns were delightfully soft, as was Consuelo Castiglioni's Marni collection.
  • Frozen solid in her smocked white dress, Dorothy realised she wasn't in Kansas anymore.
  • Look in the pattern books for suitable patterns or see ‘Sources’ at the end of this article for companies selling a variety of patterns for children's smocked clothing.

Origin

Old English smoc 'woman's loose-fitting undergarment'; probably related to Old English smūgan 'to creep' and Old Norse smjúga 'put on a garment, creep into'. The use of the verb as a needlework term dates from the late 19th century.

More
  • In Old English smūgan meant ‘to creep’. Just as today we can talk about, say, wriggling into a pair of jeans or slipping into a dress, so the Anglo-Saxons used the word as a way of describing putting on a piece of clothing. This is why the related word smoc, which became smock, was applied to a woman's loose-fitting undergarment. It was not until the 19th century that the word was used for a piece of clothing worn by agricultural workers decorated with smocking, and only since the 20th that it has described a loose dress or blouse, or the loose garment that artists wear to keep their clothes clean.

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