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Etymology 1[edit]

Origin unknown; perhaps a diminutive form of pert, or from its habit of ruffling the feathers round its neck; see Etymology 2 below.


partlet (plural partlets)

  1. (now rare, archaic) A hen (originally in the form Dame Partlet). [from 14th c.]

Etymology 2[edit]

Woman wearing a black dress with white partlet

Origin unknown. Possibly from the mediaeval French name Pertelote.


partlet (plural partlets)

  1. (now historical or archaic) A covering for the neck and upper chest, originally worn by both sexes, but later especially by women to cover a low neckline. [from 16th c.]
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King, Penguin, published 2012, page 189:
      On 1 February 1505, he ordered a new set of clothes for prince: an arming doublet of black satin, with fashionable detachable sleeves, and with it an arming partlet or under-collar []
    • 1979, Cormac McCarthy, Suttree, Random House, page 65:
      A black witch known as Mother She was going along Front Street toward the store, a frail bent shape in black partlet with cane laboring brokenly through the heat.


1918 Webster