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An 1800 portrait of French astronomer Pierre-François Bernier by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, from the collection of the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, USA. Bernier is depicted wearing a cravat.


From French cravate, an appellative use of Cravate (Croat), from Dutch Krawaat, from German Krawatte, from Serbo-Croatian Hr̀vāt/Хр̀ва̄т (Croat). The cravat is regarded as originating from a linen scarf worn by Croatian mercenaries which was adopted into French fashion in the 17th century.[1]



cravat (plural cravats)

  1. A wide fabric band worn as a necktie by men having long ends hanging in front.
    • 1906, Stanley J[ohn] Weyman, “The Dissolution”, in Chippinge Borough, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co., OCLC 580270828, page 3:
      It was April 22, 1831, and a young man was walking down Whitehall in the direction of Parliament Street. He wore shepherd's plaid trousers and the swallow-tail coat of the day, with a figured muslin cravat wound about his wide-spread collar.
  2. (historical) A decorative fabric band or scarf worn around the neck by women.
  3. (surgery) A bandage resembling a cravat, particularly a triangular bandage folded into a strip.


Derived terms[edit]



cravat (third-person singular simple present cravats, present participle cravatting, simple past and past participle cravatted)

  1. (transitive, rare) To adorn with a cravat; to tie a cravat, or something resembling a cravat, around the neck.


  1. ^ cravat, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2013.

Further reading[edit]