from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One who wears a distinctive gown as a mark of profession or office.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One whose professional habit is a gown, as a lawyer, or a professor or student of a university, especially the last.
  • noun One devoted to the arts of peace, in distinction from a soldier; a citizen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One whose professional habit is a gown, as a divine or lawyer, and particularly a member of an English university; hence, a civilian, in distinction from a soldier.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One whose professional habit is a gown, such as a divine, a lawyer, or a member of certain English universities.
  • noun A civilian, in distinction from a soldier.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The gownsman and financier would find himself better off in France than elsewhere.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • He had been reading the Report of the Agricultural Survey of the Commonwealth, and had found good things in it; but it was easy to see that he felt towards the author much as soldiers do towards the historiographer who follows the camp, more good nature than reverence for the gownsman.

    Uncollected Prose

  • Plato is a gownsman; his garment, though of purple, and almost sky-woven, is an academic robe and hinders action with its voluminous folds.

    Representative Men

  • This was an insult in which every gownsman felt himself involved.

    The Life of Oliver Goldsmith

  • The gownsman used those weapons appropriate to his office which best touched the sensibilities and won the adhesion of

    The Philippine Islands

  • She takes the book from the table, but, finding it the pious prosing of some "lazy, dull, luxurious gownsman," flings it aside.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 23, September, 1859

  • The initiator of the scheme, not being himself a gownsman, was naturally constrained to delegate its execution to a priest, whilst he organized another union, under

    The Philippine Islands

  • In 1888 there was a great commotion amongst them when it was discovered that a would-be competitor and a gownsman had conspired, in Pampanga Province, to establish a Miraculous Saint, by concealing an image in a field in order that it should "make itself manifest to the faithful," and thenceforth become a source of income.

    The Philippine Islands

  • But, alas! the very sight of them was as a match to the resin of the pit, and a roar of defiance was flung back, – townsman against gownsman, hereditary enemies challenging each other as they are used to do when party or political processions march before the railings on College Green.

    Our Irish Theatre: A Chapter of Autobiography

  • He told the story of his first appearance as a gownsman in one of his gossiping letters in verse:

    The Life of John Ruskin


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