Tunic - Encyclopedia

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TUNIC (0. Eng. tunice, tunical, taken, before the Norman conquest, directly from Lat. tunica, of which the origin is unknown), properly the name given in Latin to the principal undergarment of men and women, answering to the chiton (Xt-reov) of the Greeks, and covered by the outer garment, the pall y (Gr. tw rtov), in the case of women, and by the peculiar Roman garment, the toga, in the case of men. The male tunica differed from the XLTwv in usually having short sleeves (see further Costume: § Ancient Greek and Roman). The term, more often in the form "tunicle" (Lat. dim. tunicula), is applied, in ecclesiastical usage, to a vestment worn over the alb by the sub-deacon in the celebration of the Mass. In general current usage it is used of any loose short garment, girt at the waist and reaching from the neck to some distance above the knee. It is thus the name of the fatigue coat of a soldier of the British army. There are numerous uses of "tunic" or "tunica" in anatomy, zoology and botany in the sense of a covering or integument.

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