From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Gown \Gown\ (goun), n. [OE. goune, prob. from W. gwn gown, loose
   robe, akin to Ir. gunn, Gael. g[`u]n; cf. OF. gone, prob. of
   the same origin.]
   1. A loose, flowing upper garment; especially:
      (a) The ordinary outer dress of a woman, especially one
          that is full-length/ex>.
      (b) The official robe of certain professional men and
          scholars, as university students and officers,
          barristers, judges, etc.; hence, the dress of peace;
          the dress of civil officers, in distinction from
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                He Mars deposed, and arms to gowns made yield.
      (c) A loose wrapper worn by gentlemen within doors; a
          dressing gown.
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   2. Any sort of dress or garb.
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            He comes . . . in the gown of humility. --Shak.
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   3. An evening gown.

   4. The students and faculty of a college and university, as
      opposed to the local inhabitants not connected to the
      university; -- used often in the phrase "town and gown",
      referring to interactions between the university and the
      local townspeople; as, a town and gown dispute.
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