Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

accoutrement

noun ac·cou·tre·ment \ə-ˈkü-trə-mənt, -ˈkü-tər-mənt\

Simple Definition of accoutrement

  • : a piece of clothing or equipment that is used in a particular place or for a particular activity

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of accoutrement

  1. 1 a :  equipment, trappings; specifically :  a soldier's outfit usually not including clothes and weapons —usually used in plural b :  an accessory item of clothing or equipment —usually used in plural

  2. 2 archaic :  the act of accoutring

  3. 3 :  an identifying and often superficial characteristic or device —usually used in plural <accoutrements of power that define our diplomacy — Elizabeth Drew>

Examples of accoutrement in a sentence

  1. <this vacuum cleaner has all of the accoutrements for cleaning furniture as well as floors>

  2. <has all the accoutrements that the home pastry chef could ever want>



Did You Know?

Accoutrement and its relative "accoutre," a verb meaning "to provide with equipment or furnishings" or "to outfit," have been appearing in English texts since the 16th century. Today both words have variant spellings - "accouterment" and "accouter." Their French ancestor, accoutrer, descends from an Old French word meaning "seam" and ultimately traces to the Latin word consuere, meaning "to sew together." You probably won’t be too surprised to learn that "consuere" is also an ancestor of couture, meaning "the business of designing fashionable custom-made women's clothing."

1549

First Known Use of accoutrement

1549

Variants of accoutrement

or accouterment play \ə-ˈkü-trə-mənt, -ˈkü-tər-mənt\


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up accoutrement? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by grandiloquent style

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex soothe disapprove reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ