• WordNet 3.6
    • n kirtle a long dress worn by women
    • n kirtle a garment resembling a tunic that was worn by men in the Middle Ages
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Kirtle A garment varying in form and use at different times, and worn both by men and women.☞ The term is still retained in the provinces, in the sense of “an outer petticoat.” "Wearing her Norman car, and her kirtle of blue."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n kirtle In former use, a garment of which the form and purpose varied at different times.
    • n kirtle A tunic or undergarment; a shirt.
    • n kirtle A close-fitting gown for women, which sometimes was called a long kirtle and had a train.
    • n kirtle A garment like a doublet for men.
    • n kirtle A cloak.
    • n kirtle A monk's gown. Coat and kirtle are mentioned together in the middle of the seventeenth century as forming a woman's costume: as, a tawny camlet coat and kirtle cost £10 17s. In this case kirtle is evidently the petticoat, or the garment worn under the coat. See half-kirtle, aud full kirtle, below.
    • n kirtle An outer petticoat.
    • n kirtle A coat or layer of plaster.
    • kirtle To dispose in the manner of a kirtle.
    • n kirtle A quantity of flax, about 100 pounds.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Kirtle kėr′tl a sort of gown or outer petticoat: a mantle
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. kirtel, curtel, AS. cyrtel,; skin to Icel. kyrtill, Sw. kjortel, Dan. kiortel, kiole,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cyrtel; Dan. kiortel; Ice. kyrtill: perh. conn. with skirt and shirt.


In literature:

I was in doublet and hose, and she wore a long, flowing kirtle.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
A golden shield had he, and a gold-wrought helmet, & a short red kirtle over his shirt of mail.
"The Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and of Harald The Tyrant (Harald Haardraade)" by Snorri Sturluson
We'll have to muss his hair now and fix him up with a kirtle like theirs.
"Creatures of Vibration" by Harl Vincent
Ah, those kirtles, those kirtles!
"John Splendid" by Neil Munro
He wore a red silk kirtle over his ring-armor.
"The Land of the Long Night" by Paul du Chaillu
The Phryne in hunting green is down again, languorously dropping her green kirtle.
"From Edinburgh to India & Burmah" by William G. Burn Murdoch
She ran up straight to Rachel, and grasped the blue serge kirtle in her small chubby hand.
"Clare Avery" by Emily Sarah Holt
Whether goeth this lace or the wide one best with my blue kirtle?
"The King's Daughters" by Emily Sarah Holt
This, with the antique kirtle and picturesque petticoat, is an Acadian portrait.
"Acadia" by Frederic S. Cozzens
And she hasn't a decent kirtle, never name a hood.
"The White Lady of Hazelwood" by Emily Sarah Holt
A wife is wise enough when she kens her gudeman's breeks frae her ain kirtle.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
Around this spot were assembled a band of kirtled Greeks, provided with ropes, ladders, and flambeaux.
"Journal of a Visit to Constantinople and Some of the Greek Islands in the Spring and Summer of 1833" by John Auldjo
By Saint Mary her kirtle, but it shall not serve thy turn.
"Robin Tremayne" by Emily Sarah Holt
All tucked up the dress nearly to the waist, showing the invariable red kirtle.
"Ireland as It Is" by Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
Many a kirtle there was rent, And hurt many a side!
"Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse" by Various
Springing with a bound over the Kirtle, he seized Blacket House in the act of flight.
"Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Vol. 9" by Various
The fear of burnt doublets or kirtles had effectually sobered these over-flowing tempers.
"The Laughing Cavalier" by Baroness Orczy
Other rivers are the Lochar (18 m.), the Kirtle (17) and the Sark (12), all flowing into the Solway.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 8" by Various
She straightened out her kirtle, and again her glance roved the room.
"Through Welsh Doorways" by Jeannette Augustus Marks
At one end of the fire, the long-kirtled forms of Gudrid and her women moved to and fro before their looms.
"The Vinland Champions" by Ottilie A. Liljencrantz

In poetry:

Out then spake a little page
Was clad in kirtle red:
“Sweet Signy burns in her bower aloft,
With all her mays unwed.”
"Hafbur And Signy" by William Morris
In came Humble, the youthful knight,
Was clad in a kirtle, green;
“O! I have got my courser again,
And have bound the warrior keen.”
"The Tournament (From The Old Danish)" by George Borrow
The lights were quenched, the nurse went forth,
They deemed they were alone:
Lord Hafbur drew off his kirtle red,
Then first his sword outshone.
"Hafbur And Signy" by William Morris
Fearless I flew whar danger led,
The horse was gane; the rider seen
Struggling for life in death's deep bed,
Dash'd round in Kirtle's whirling linn!--
"The Pastoral, Or Lyric Muse Of Scotland. Canto Third. Dornock Ha'. A Ballad" by Hector MacNeill
You came back then as you come back now,—
Your kirtle torn and your face all white;
And you stood outside and knockit and cried,
Just as you, dearie, did to-night.
"Ailsie, My Bairn" by Eugene Field
The glory of sunrise smites on our fair, free brows uplifted
When the silver-kirtled day steps over the twilight's bars;
At evening we look adown into valleys hearted with sunset,
And we whisper old lore together under the smouldering stars.
"The Hill Maples" by Lucy Maud Montgomery