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

  • n. A loose-fitting garment, sleeved or sleeveless, extending to the knees and worn by men and women especially in ancient Greece and Rome.
  • n. A medieval surcoat.
  • n. A long, plain, close-fitting jacket, usually having a stiff high collar and worn as part of a uniform.
  • n. A long, plain, sleeved or sleeveless blouse.
  • n. A short pleated and belted dress worn by women for some sports.
  • n. Anatomy A coat or layer enveloping an organ or part.
  • n. Botany A loose membranous outer covering of a bulb or corm, as of the onion, tulip, or crocus.
  • n. See tunicle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A garment worn over the torso, with or without sleeves, and of various lengths reaching from the hips to the ankles.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An under-garment worn by the ancient Romans of both sexes. It was made with or without sleeves, reached to or below the knees, and was confined at the waist by a girdle.
  • n. Any similar garment worn by ancient or Oriental peoples; also, a common name for various styles of loose-fitting under-garments and over-garments worn in modern times by Europeans and others.
  • n. Same as Tunicle.
  • n. A membrane, or layer of tissue, especially when enveloping an organ or part, as the eye.
  • n. A natural covering; an integument.
  • n. See Mantle, n., 3 (a).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Roman antiquity, a garment like a shirt or gown worn by either sex, very often an undergarment: hence a general term applied to garments, of all periods and materials, which are worn depending from the neck, whether girded at the waist or not, or kept in place by other garments worn outside of them, and whether such garments are long and full or short and scant.
  • n. At the present time, a garment generally loose, but gathered or girded at the waist, worn by women, usually an outer garment; a sort of wrap or coat for street wear.
  • n. Eccles., a vestment worn over the alb in the Roman Catholic Church and in some Anglican churches by the subdeacon or epistler at the celebration of the mass or holy communion.
  • n. A military surcoat.
  • n. In the British army, the ordinary fatigue-coat: applied usually to the coat of a private, but sometimes to that of an officer.
  • n. A natural covering; an integument.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an enveloping or covering membrane or layer of body tissue
  • n. any of a variety of loose fitting cloaks extending to the hips or knees


Middle English tunik, from Old French tunique, from Latin tunica, of Phoenician origin; akin to Hebrew kuttōnet, kətōnet, from Central Semitic *kuttān, *kittān; see chiton.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle French tunique, from Latin tunica. (Wiktionary)



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  • An under-garment worn by the ancient Romans of both sexes. I heard this word in my English class, it's very similar to Spanish since it comes from Latin.

    October 1, 2010