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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 military. [1913 Webster] He Mars deposed, and arms to gowns made yield. --Dryden. (c) A loose wrapper worn by gentlemen within doors; a dressing gown. [1913 Webster] 2. Any sort of dress or garb. [1913 Webster] He comes . . . in the gown of humility. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. An evening gown. [PJC] 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. [PJC]