1. A long loose flowing garment, such as a robe or nightgown.
2. A long, usually formal dress.
3. A robe or smock worn in operating rooms and other parts of hospitals as a guard against contamination.
4. A distinctive outer robe worn on ceremonial occasions, as by scholars or clerics.
5. The faculty and student body of a university: perfect accord between town and gown.
tr.v. gowned, gown·ing, gowns
To clothe (oneself or another) with a gown.
[Middle English goune, from Old French, from Late Latin gunna, leather garment.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.