A chemise is a simple, loose-fitting dress. If you're heading to the beach, you might throw a chemise on over your bathing suit.

Use the word chemise for an unstructured garment without any defined waist — think of the dresses flappers wore in the 1920s, which hung straight down from their shoulders. It's just as common to call a nightgown or a slip — a type of undergarment worn beneath a dress — a chemise. The word comes from Old French, meaning "tunic," and was originally used for the tunics worn by soldiers beneath their armor.

Definitions of chemise

n a loose-fitting dress hanging straight from the shoulders without a waist

sack, shift
Type of:
dress, frock
a one-piece garment for a woman; has skirt and bodice

n a woman's sleeveless undergarment

shift, shimmy, slip, teddy
Type of:
undergarment, unmentionable
a garment worn under other garments

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