June 19, 2013
Word of the Day
1 : characteristic apparatus : trappings 2 a : the dress characteristic of an occupation or occasion usually used in plural b : clothes usually used in plural
"My riches are these poor habiliments, / Of which if you should here disfurnish me, / You take the sum and substance that I have." From Shakespeare's 1595 play The Two Gentlemen of Verona
"In 1837, a Times-Picayune reporter noted that the first documented Mardi Gras walking parade excited considerable speculation as to who they were, what were their motives, and what upon earth could induce them to turn out in such grotesque and outlandish habiliments. Some things never change." From an article released by Tulane University and published by States News Service, January 24, 2013
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"Habiliment," from Middle French "abillement," is a bit old-fashioned and is often used to describe complex, multi-pieced outfits like those of medieval times. For instance, a full suit of armorwhich might include a helmet, gorget, pallette, brassard, skirt of tasses, tuille, gauntlet, cuisse, jambeau, and solleret, along with other pieces and platescan be considered the habiliments of a knight. Nowadays, "habiliment," which is usually used in its plural form, is also fitting for the dress of an occupation, such as the different vestments of a priest, or for clothes, such as elegant formal wear, worn on special occasions. When "habiliment" is used for plain old "clothes," it is more than likely for jocular or poetic effectas we see it being used by Shakespeare in the first example above.
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