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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Serape \Se*ra"pe\, n. [Sp. Amer. sarape.] A blanket or shawl worn as an outer garment by the Spanish Americans, as in Mexico.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also sarape, type of shawl for men, 1834, from Mexican Spanish sarape, probably from Nahuatl, but exact source difficult to identify source because there is no -r- sound in Nahuatl.


alt. A type of blanket worn as a cloak, especially by Spanish-Americans. n. A type of blanket worn as a cloak, especially by Spanish-Americans.


n. a long brightly colored shawl; worn mainly by Mexican men [syn: sarape]


The serape or sarape is a long blanket-like shawl, often brightly colored and fringed at the ends, worn in Mexico, especially by men. The spelling of the word sarape is the accepted form in Mexico and in Spanish-speaking countries. The term sarape is for the rectangular woven blanket (no openings), though, in more recent years it can also be used to refer to a very soft rectangular blanket with an opening in the middle for one's head, similar to a poncho called gabán, or jorongo in Mexico. Modern variations of some serapes are made with matching hoods for head covering. The length varies but front and back normally reach knee height on an average person.

Available in various colors and design patterns, the typical colors of serapes from the highland regions are two-tone combinations of black, grey, brown, or tan depending on the natural color of the sheep flocks grown in the area, with large design patterns utilizing traditional indigenous motifs. On the other hand, the traditional serape as made in the Mexican state of Coahuila in north-eastern Mexico near the city of Saltillo often consists of a dark base color with bands of yellow, orange, red, blue, green, purple or other bright colors. The ends are usually fringed.

Usage examples of "serape".

Breathing fast, Davey followed him down the stairs behind the bar and back through the stale stinks of spilled beer and mescal to a serape hanging on the wall.

She pushed the balky, gawky, protesting cart out of the wind and looked at the woman in the serape, ashamed to be so out of breath after moving less than a dozen yards but unable to help panting.

Other bare combs of Ivory, and declared by their gesture and motions of their armes, that they were ordained and readie to dresse the goddesse : Others dropped in the wayes as they went Balme and other pretious ointments : Then came a great number, as well of men as women, with Candels, torches, and other lights, doing honour to the celestiall goddesse : After that sounded the musical harmony of instruments : then came a faire companie of youth, apparelled in white vestiments, singing both meter and verse, with a comely grade which some studious Poet had made in honour of the Muses : In the meane season, arrived the blowers of trumpets, which were dedicated unto Serapes, and to the temple before them were officers and beadles, preparing roome for the goddess to passe.

The kid was blond as Maytime, dressed in worn blue jeans and a serape.

From beneath her serape she produced a bundle of grapes and a paper sack filled with orange pokeberries as swollen as her belly.

It was small and there was no window to it and on the floor were two pallets of straw and sacking with serapes over them.

They wore serapes over their shoulders and one of them was holding the empty rifle and all of them wore pistols.

Ahead Melinda could see the three civilians picking their way carefully across the rubble toward the nearest edge of standing timber, their serapes rippling in the breeze.

Twelve feet in the air the flames ate the night sky, and I was helping a shopkeeper pull his bongos and wooden statues of Don Quixote and bead-shirts and serapes out into the street, and then there was a Mexican soldier, a member of the National Guard, a rurale, something.

A large Drathian who could have been the same one who offered me the load of glath except for the white serape across his chitinous shoulder was pushing through the gathering crowd toward me.

There were men, women, children selling serapes, shoeshines, chewing gum, straw baskets and straw animals, black pottery, fresh flowers and wilted flowers, serapes, cigarettes, fake Indian relics, silver jewelry, junk jewelry, firecrackers, aprons, serapes, ice cream, soft drinks, and hot tacos stuffed with God only knows what kind of meat.

The fork was a familiar one in folk tales the world over, and the good guys and the bad guys, whether in chaps, breechclouts, serapes, leopardskins, or banker's gray pinstripes, all separated here.

Kimba Rimer's skeletal frame was all but buried in a gray serape lit with faint bands of orange.