Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A woman's cape, usually short, with points in front.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woman's cape

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A woman's cape; especially, a fur cape that is longer in front than behind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A woman's long narrow cape or tippet, with ends coming down to a point in front, usually of silk or lace, or of the material of the dress.
  • n. A form of ladies' neckwear.

Etymologies

French pèlerine, from feminine of pèlerin, pilgrim, from Late Latin pelegrīnus; see pilgrim.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • In addition to this umbrella-like ornament on its head, it has what may be called a pelerine suspended from the neck, formed by a thick fan of glossy steel-blue feathers which grow on a long fleshy lobe or excrescence.

    The Western World Picturesque Sketches of Nature and Natural History in North and South America

  • Scrubby coat and trousers, dirty shirt, scarf, and cap, socks more like anklets for holes, and a pair of split boots; bedraggled hat, frowsy jacket, blouse and skirt, squashy boots, and perhaps a patchy "pelerine" or mangy "boa" -- such is accepted as the natural costume for the heirs of all the ages.

    Essays in Rebellion

  • The pelerine, edged with the same ribbon run through a broad hem and tied with bows like those on the dress, showed the great beauty of her shape.

    Ursula

  • For Isobel it was a chance to be someone she was not—to take her place among the theater ladies in their pelerine capelets and laced bodices.

    The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre

  • Reasoning thus, and much better than this, she was very particular about her hat, and French pelerine of fluted lawn, and frock of pale violet trimmed on either side with gathered muslin.

    Springhaven

  • Well, we looked funny, no doubt, Bella in a Russian pony automobile coat over the black satin she had worn at the Clevelands 'dinner, and I in cream lace, the skirt gathered up from the kitchen floor, with Bella's ermine pelerine around my bare shoulders, and dishes and overturned chairs everywhere.

    When a Man Marries

  • She wore ruffled lavender with a clear lace pelerine caught at her breast by a knot of straw-coloured ribbon and sprig of rose geranium.

    The Three Black Pennys A Novel

  • Susan, at breakfast, her shoulders wrapped in a serious-toned pelerine, said little.

    The Three Black Pennys A Novel

  • The students numbering 70 are for the most part supported by their bishops; they attend the Gregorian, and are distinguished by a pelerine and a sky-blue sash.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 13: Revelation-Stock

  • Her dress is a plain brown frock, with a woollen pelerine of black and aniline mauve over her shoulders, all very trim in honor of the occasion.

    John Bull's Other Island

Comments

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  • Nowadays, this word is very commonly used to refer to the socks often worn by schoolgirls, usually in white, either ankle or knee-length. I wore them myself until I was at least 14. Pelerine socks always have a patterned weave, rather than plain or ribbed. Pelerine is not a trade name, and I've no idea how it came to be applied to these particular socks. The term arrived in England in the 1980s, probably from France. I doubt whether pilgrims ever wore them!

    April 6, 2009

  • a piece of 19th century women's clothing, a little cape

    March 28, 2007