from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A collared, usually ruffled covering for the neck and shoulders, popular in 16th-century Europe and worn especially by women.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A covering for the neck, and sometimes for the shoulders and breast; originally worn by both sexes, but later by women alone; a ruff.
- n. A hen; -- so called from the ruffing of her neck feathers.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A garment for the neck and shoulders, especially for women.
- n. A hen.
Alteration of Middle English patelet, from Old French patelete, band of cloth, diminutive of pate, paw; see patois.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin unknown; perhaps a diminutive form of pert. (Wiktionary)
Origin unknown. (Wiktionary)