Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
A blouse is a loose-fitting upper garment that was formerly worn by workmen, peasants, artists, women and children. It is typically gathered at the waist or hips (by a waistband or belt) so that it hangs loosely ("blouses") over the wearer's body. Today, the word most commonly refers to a girl's or woman's dress shirt but can also refer to a man's shirt if it is a loose-fitting style (e.g. poet shirts and Cossack shirts). Traditionally, the term has been used to refer to a shirt which blouses out or has an unmistakably feminine appearance.
The term is also used for some men's military uniform jackets.
Blouse is an American Alternative rock band based in Portland, Oregon.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
1828 (from 1822 as a French word in English), from French blouse, "workman's or peasant's smock" (1788), origin unknown. Perhaps akin to Provençal (lano) blouso "short (wool)" [Gamillscheg]. Another suggestion [Klein] is that it is from Medieval Latin pelusia, from Pelusium, a city in Upper Egypt, supposedly a clothing manufacturing center in the Middle Ages.\n\nIn Paris, a very slovenly, loose, drawn frock, with most capacious sleeves, had been introduced called a blouse. Some of our priestesses of the toilet seemed emulous of copying this deshabille, with some slight alterations, but we never wish to see it on the symmetrical form of a British lady.
["Summary of Fashion for 1822," in "Museum of Foreign Literature and Science," Jan.-June 1823]
n. 1 An outer garment, usually loose, that is similar to a shirt and reaches from the neck to the waist or below. Nowadays, in colloquial use, ''blouse'' refers almost always to a woman's shirt that buttons down the front. 2 (context military English) A loose-fitting uniform jacket. vb. 1 To hang a garment in loose folds. 2 (context military English) To tuck one's pants/trousers (into one's boots).
The Collaborative International Dictionary
shirtwaist \shirtwaist\, Shirt waist \Shirt waist\ [shirt + waist; see waist, n.]
n. a top worn by women
Usage examples of "blouse".
He was almost glad the house was so dark because he felt ridiculous: sitting here in his blacked-out raid wear, Kevlar vest, and bloused BDU pants, surrounded by lace antimacassars, crochet work, and frilly doilies.
Janice, camouflaging her mood in a gay and festive ruffly-sleeved peasant blouse and evening skirt with flower applique, was in the kitchen.
I may also enjoy the precious privilege of assuring you of my fond, faithful, and unalterable affection, whenever you visit your favorite bower, unless, indeed, it offends your pride to listen to professions of love from the lips of a poor workingman, clad in a blouse and cap.
Lady Fatima for the occasion, included a short blouse and pantaloons of emerald silk covered by a barracan of softest mint green edged with gold braiding.
Her half-turned, hand-on-hip position also showed the curve of the hip-hugging black skirt and the beruffled blouse, sheer black like the slightly laddered stocking.
Fawn and Fontayne wore their Brinker Bras under sheer blouses for the world to see.
Normally there would just have been talking and lots of laughing, from groups of people smelling of Brut and hair spray, the girls in sharply ironed blouses.
On top, she had some kind of black bustier thing, which was visible through the sheer white blouse she wore over it.
She wore a high-necked and lace-fringed blouse designed for the bustless girls of mid-town, and she was far too ample for it.
Major Horter, in a green blouse and pink skirt, and wearing all of her ribbons, walked into his office.
Like the huipil blouse and skirt worn by the india and half-caste women, hundreds of male figures in the rough cotton shirt, pants, and woven maguey mantas would throng the plaza.
Haar zwarte haar was op de klassieke manier recht naar achteren gekamd en ze was heel eenvoudig gekleed in een zwarte rok en een blouse van rode zijde.
There was an alley by the side of the hotel just below his window, and Dickie and Marge came down it, Dickie in his white trousers and terra cotta shirt, Marge in a skirt and blouse.
She wore a magnolia skirt and a white marocain blouse, and her fair hair was pinned up in a tight bun at the back of her finely sculpted head.
The same closet held a black dress with a modified seventeenth-century ruff of superb white lace, a suit of gray menswear woolen piped in scarlet, a flowered linen suit, various knee-length pants, and blouses.