Cravat. [From German crabat] A piece of folded silk, satin or other material worn about the neck, generally outside of a linen collar, by men. In 1786 a regiment of German soldiers arrived in Paris, France, in the dress of which one characteristic was much admired by the Parisans - a neck-wrapper of silk (called a crabat) worn by the men and muslin by the soldiers, all alike tied in a bow with pendant ends, and used by them, it is said, to support an amulet worn as a charm against sword-cuts. The gay Parisians speedily adopted the novelty; and whenever Paris starts a fashion the balance of the world meekly follows it. In time cravat came to denote any kind of a scarf not made up, which was tied after being placed around the neck. When first introduced it was commonly of linen, edged with lace. At the beginning of the 17th century it was worn very long, and it is often seen in pictures passed through the buttonhole of the coat or waistcoat. In 1840 and earlier the cravat consisted of a triangular silk kerchief, usually black, wound twice round the neck. Formerly, when starched linen cravats were worn, perfection in the art of tying them was one of the eviable accomplishments of a dandy. The cravat differs properly from the scarf, in this, that whether tied or passed through a ring or held by a pin, hangs down over the shirt-front in pendent ends.