Definition of apron in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈeɪpr(ə)n/


1A protective garment worn over the front of one’s clothes and tied at the back: a striped butcher’s apron [as modifier]: I reached into my apron pocket
More example sentences
  • Wear gloves, aprons, and other protective clothing to keep your skin from coming in contact with oils, greases, and chemicals.
  • Mother was waiting inside, and was standing in her old clothes with her apron tied in front.
  • Sighing, I reached in the front pocket of my apron for my note pad and proceeded to the elderly couple.
pinafore, overall
informal pinny
1.1A garment similar to an apron that is worn as part of official dress, as by a bishop or Freemason.
Example sentences
  • In the case of a Freemason, there would also be various other objects - particularly the apron.
  • The first day of the convention was Friday, and I went along to the Dallas Brooks Centre, which amusingly, being a Masonic centre, had lots of pictures of blokes in aprons around the place.
  • The initiate returns wearing his apron.
1.2A sheet of lead worn to shield the body during an X-ray examination.
Example sentences
  • If you remain in the room during the X-ray exposure, you're typically given a lead apron to wear to shield you from unnecessary exposure.
  • If so, you may be asked to wear a lead apron to shield you from exposure to X-rays.
  • Lead shields or aprons should be available for staff members in the event an intraoperative x-ray is needed.
2A small area adjacent to another larger area or structure: a tiny apron of garden
More example sentences
  • There, clear, was Arthur's seat, the Georgian grid of the new town, the apron of streets spreading downhill, northwards, to Leith and to the firth.
  • It lies in the old Marin Cemetery overlooking the deep fragmented blue of the ocean, on a flat apron of land lying between the tall black basalt cliffs and the rustling palms on the shore.
  • Past the finish line and the TV cameras that line the apron of the athletics track, through a tunnel and into the bowels of the main stadium lies the mixed zone.
2.1A hard-surfaced area on an airfield used for manoeuvring or parking aircraft: the pilot was instructed to park on the main apron
More example sentences
  • According to CAF, the Museum precinct will essentially encompass the buildings, hangars and aprons on the airfield side of Williams Road.
  • Evening sun is glowing across the aircraft on the apron as incredibly dark clouds loom over distant Amsterdam city centre.
  • The Jet Centre will include passenger and crew lounges, immigration and Customs facilities and an adjoining business aircraft apron.
2.2 (also apron stage) A projecting strip of stage for playing scenes in front of the curtain.
Example sentences
  • He has filled the empty apron stage with a magical, glittering and visually delightful scenes and tableaux to follow the fall from grace of the Master and his lover.
  • An apron stage, simple settings, an authentic text, and swift continuity of action were new to critics and public, and not until a similar production of the play in 1914 did he meet with any general acclaim.
  • It was the closest work in the program to classical exposition, danced in front of the curtain on the apron, where bends are not really contortions and twists owe something to Yoga.
2.3US An area of asphalt where the drive of a house meets the road.
Example sentences
  • The fire trucks followed us as we rolled to the end and turned into the apron, with hot brakes on the port side.
  • It would be very wise to include a grid of half-inch diameter reinforcing steel in the concrete apron.
2.4The narrow strip of a boxing ring lying outside the ropes.
Example sentences
  • I'm sitting with the heavyweight champion of the world on the apron of a boxing ring, our legs dangling over its edge.
  • However, as Bret was walking back to his corner on the ring apron, Owen was whipped into the ropes, knocking Bret off and into the guard rail.
  • But before he entered the ring, he stopped outside the apron and removed his leg.
3 Geology An extensive outspread deposit of sediment, typically at the foot of a glacier or mountain.
Example sentences
  • Each massif consists of a core of andésite lava domes surrounded by aprons of pyroclastic deposits and volcanogenic sediments.
  • Oceanic volcanic arcs are surrounded by large volcaniclastic aprons, kilometres thick, whose volume may far exceed that of the volcanoes.
  • Recent faulting is expressed as freshly exposed soil within the colluvial apron visible by its light tan colour.
4 [often as modifier] An endless conveyor made of overlapping plates: apron feeders bring coarse ore to a grinding mill
More example sentences
  • The apron feeders are then used to transfer the material to another location.
  • The apron feeders are mounted on wheels so that the apron feeder and feed chute assembly can be easily slid out from underneath the crusher rock box/stockpile.
  • The apron feeders are preferably equipped with a self-cleaning arrangement to facilitate continuous operation without undue stoppages.


tied to someone's apron strings

Too much under someone’s influence and control: we have all met sturdy adults who are tied to mother’s apron strings
More example sentences
  • While much popular journalism decried the mother who kept her young boy tied to her apron strings, many mothers worried about their sons' ability to fend for themselves in the peer society.
  • Plus she had no desire to become permanently tied to Marie 's apron strings, which she knew would be her inevitable fate.
  • You're still tied to her apron strings, believe me.


Middle English naperon, from Old French, diminutive of nape, nappe 'tablecloth', from Latin mappa 'napkin'. The n was lost by wrong division of a napron; compare with adder1.

  • What we now call an apron was known in the Middle Ages as a naperon, from Old French nape or nappe ‘tablecloth’ (also the source of napkin (Late Middle English) and its shortening nappy (early 20th century)). Somewhere along the line the initial ‘n’ got lost, as people heard ‘a naperon’ and misinterpreted this as ‘an apron’. A similar process of ‘wrong division’ took place with words such as adder.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: apron

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