- a usually lightweight, loose-fitting garment for women and children, covering the body from the neck or shoulders more or less to the waistline, with or without a collar and sleeves, worn inside or outside a skirt, slacks, etc.
- a single-breasted, semifitted military jacket.
- a loose outer garment, reaching to the hip or thigh, or below the knee, and sometimes belted.Compare smock frock.
verb (used without object), bloused, blous·ing.
- to puff out in a drooping fullness, as a blouse above a fitted waistband.
verb (used with object), bloused, blous·ing.
- to dispose the material of a garment in loose folds, as trouser legs over the tops of boots.
- a woman’s shirtlike garment made of cotton, nylon, etc
- a loose-fitting smocklike garment, often knee length and belted, worn esp by E European peasants
- a loose-fitting waist-length belted jacket worn by soldiers
- to hang or make so as to hang in full loose folds
1828 (from 1822 as a French word in English), from French blouse, “workman’s or peasant’s smock” (1788), origin unknown. Perhaps akin to Provençal (lano) blouso “short (wool)” [Gamillscheg]. Another suggestion [Klein] is that it is from Medieval Latin pelusia, from Pelusium, a city in Upper Egypt, supposedly a clothing manufacturing center in the Middle Ages.
In Paris, a very slovenly, loose, drawn frock, with most capacious sleeves, had been introduced called a blouse. Some of our priestesses of the toilet seemed emulous of copying this deshabille, with some slight alterations, but we never wish to see it on the symmetrical form of a British lady. [“Summary of Fashion for 1822,” in “Museum of Foreign Literature and Science,” Jan.-June 1823]