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See also: Spencer




Etymology 1Edit

From the family name Spencer. The jacket is probably named after George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758-1834).


spencer (plural spencers)

  1. (now historical) A short double-breasted men's overcoat worn in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  2. (now historical) A short, close-fitting jacket primarily worn by women and children in the early nineteenth century.
  3. (now historical) A (usually woollen) vest worn by women and girls for extra warmth.
    • 1933, Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth, Penguin 2005, p. 34:
      I am seized with an angry resentment against the conventions of twenty years ago, which wrapped up my comely adolescent body in woollen combinations, black cashmere stockings, “liberty” bodice, dark stockinette knickers, flannel petticoat and often, in addition, a long-sleeved, high-necked, knitted woollen “spencer”.
  4. A large loose-fitted gaffsail on a square-rigger or barque, used from the nineteenth century onwards.

Etymology 2Edit

Old French despensier. See spence (buttery).


spencer (plural spencers)

  1. (archaic) One who has the care of the spence, or buttery.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Promptorium Parvulorum to this entry?)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for spencer in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



From English spencer.



spencer m (plural spencers)

  1. spencer (garment)

Further readingEdit