I'm confused by the usage of "sleeve".

From Cambridge Dictionary

cap sleeve

For example, using with three-quarters, which will be the correct one?

  1. three quarter sleeves
  2. three-quarter sleeves
  3. three-quarter sleeved
  • 1
    It is a standard noun, and an adjective based on the noun. Use "sleeves" when describing the sleeves themselves, "sleeved" when using the word to modify another noun, etc. There is not enough context in your question to say which option would be correct.
    – randomhead
    Mar 17, 2022 at 20:28
  • 1
    @randomhead: I understand the question to express frustration with lack of uniformity among the various forms in standard usage.
    – brainchild
    Mar 17, 2022 at 20:51
  • @randomhead Thanks! I'm a non native speaker and have wondered if they are a fixed expression or tense variation. Mar 19, 2022 at 3:51

1 Answer 1


There is the noun "sleeve" (and its plural "sleeves"). The noun may be modified by an adjective or another noun (short sleeve, cap sleeve). And a verb "sleeve" that is most often used in participle form "sleeved".

So you can say "This blouse has short sleeves" Or "This is a short-sleeved blouse", or (using the noun as a modifier to speak of a particular type of blouse) "This is a short-sleeve-blouse".

Similarly you can talk of a "a cap sleeve" or "A cap-sleeved leotard" or a "cap-sleeve-leotard"

And likewise:

This dress has three-quarter sleeves.

This is a three-quarter-sleeved dress.

(or to identify a dress as being a particular named style) This is a three-quarter-sleeve-dress.

I've never heard of such a style, so the last might never actually be used.

  • Three-quarter sleeves (or more commonly 3/4 sleeves) are common in women's clothes. The sleeve is fitted to fall between the elbow and wrist. AmE store descriptions almost always express it as "three quarter sleeve dress", but I think BrE prefers "sleeved". I'm not sure.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 18, 2022 at 20:05

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