1. A garment, usually fastened in the back, worn over all or part of the front of the body to protect clothing.
2. Something that resembles this garment in appearance or function, especially:
a. A protective shield for a machine.
b. The paved strip in front of and around airport hangars and terminal buildings.
c. The part of a stage in a theater extending in front of the curtain.
d. A platform, as of planking, at the entrance to a dock.
e. An upper rail or carved panel extending between the legs of a piece of furniture, as beneath a tabletop or chair seat.
f. A piece of horizontal trim mounted beneath an interior windowsill.
g. A covering or structure along a shoreline for protection against erosion or a platform serving a similar purpose below a dam or in a sluiceway.
h. An area covered by sand and gravel deposited at the front of a glacial moraine.
i. A continuous conveyor belt.
j. A border of slightly longer grass that surrounds a green on a golf course.
k. The part of a boxing ring floor that extends beyond the ropes.
tr.v. a·proned, a·pron·ing, a·prons
To cover, protect, or provide with an apron.
[Middle English, from an apron, alteration of a napron, from Old French naperon, diminutive of nape, tablecloth, from Latin mappa, napkin; see MAP.]
(click for a larger image)apron
late 17th-century to early 18th-century Chinese lacquered table
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.