- a cotton-filling pile fabric with lengthwise cords or ridges.
- corduroys, trousers made of this fabric.
- of, relating to, or resembling corduroy.
- constructed of logs laid together transversely, as a road across swampy ground.
verb (used with object)
- to form (a road or the like) by laying logs transversely.
- to make a corduroy road across or along.
- trousers or breeches of corduroy
- a heavy cotton pile fabric with lengthways ribs
- (as modifier)a corduroy coat
1780, probably from duroy, name of a coarse fabric made in England, of unknown origin. Folk etymology is from *corde du roi “the king’s cord,” but this is not attested in French, where the term for the cloth was velours à côtes. Applied in U.S. to a road of logs across swampy ground (1780s) on similarity of appearance.+ obsolete 17c.
CORDUROY ROAD. A road or causeway constructed with logs laid together over swamps or marshy places. When properly finished earth is thrown between them by which the road is made smooth; but in newly settled parts of the United States they are often left uncovered, and hence are extremely rough and bad to pass over with a carriage. Sometimes they extend many miles. They derive their name from their resemblance to a species of ribbed velvet, called corduroy. [Bartlett]