gown / goun/ • n. a long dress, typically having a close-fitting bodice and a flared or flowing skirt, worn on formal occasions: a silk ball gown. ∎ a nightgown. ∎ a dressing gown. ∎ a protective garment worn in a hospital, either by a staff member during surgery or by a patient. ∎ a loose cloak indicating one's profession or status, worn by a lawyer, teacher, academic, or college student. ∎ the members of a college as distinct from the permanent residents of the college town: efforts are underway to improve town-gown relations. Often contrasted with town.• v. (be gowned) be dressed in a gown: she was gowned in luminous silk.
Hence gownsman (earlier †gownman) †adult Roman XVI (tr. L. togātus ‘gowned man’); civilian, opp. soldier; lawyer, clergyman; university man XVII.