I. noun 1. a protective garment worn over the front of one’s clothes and tied at the back. • a striped butcher’s apron.
• [as modifier]
I reached into my apron pocket.
2. a garment similar to an apron that is worn as part of official dress, as by a bishop or Freemason. 3. a sheet of lead worn to shield the body during an X-ray examination. 4. a small area adjacent to another larger area or structure • a tiny apron of garden.
5. a hard-surfaced area on an airfield used for manoeuvring or parking aircraft. • the pilot was instructed to park on the main apron.
6. (also apron stage) — a projecting strip of stage for playing scenes in front of the curtain. 7.
(US) an area of asphalt where the drive of a house meets the road.
8. the narrow strip of a boxing ring lying outside the ropes. 9.
[Geology] an extensive outspread deposit of sediment, typically at the foot of a glacier or mountain.
10. [often as modifier] — an endless conveyor made of overlapping plates • apron feeders bring coarse ore to a grinding mill.
II. phrases tied to someone’s apron strings too much under someone’s influence and control. • we have all met sturdy adults who are tied to mother’s apron strings.
– origin Middle English naperon, from Old French, diminutive of nape, nappe ‘tablecloth’, from Latin mappa ‘napkin’. The n was lost by wrong division of a napron; compare with adder1.