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A Roman dressed in a tunic.
A young boy in tunic and trousers.

Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Middle French tunique, from Latin tunica, possibly from Semitic[1]; see also Aramaic [script needed] (kittuna), Hebrew כותנת(kuttoneth, coat); or from Etruscan. Existed in Old English as tunece; unknown if term was lost and then reborrowed later.


  • IPA(key): /tjuːnɪk/, /tuːnɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːnɪk


tunic (plural tunics)

  1. A garment worn over the torso, with or without sleeves, and of various lengths reaching from the hips to the ankles.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess[1]:
      As soon as Julia returned with a constable, Timothy, who was on the point of exhaustion, prepared to give over to him gratefully. The newcomer turned out to be a powerful youngster, fully trained and eager to help, and he stripped off his tunic at once.
  2. (anatomy, botany) Any covering, such as seed coat or the organ that covers a membrane.
    • 2015, Charlie Nardozzi, New England Month-by-Month Gardening: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year, Cool Springs Press, →ISBN, page 132:
      Select individual bulbs that are firm and have no noticeable blemishes on them. Don't worry about the papery covering or tunic. That may or may not be in place, []




  1. ^ The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Volume 18