ac·​cou·​tre ə-ˈkü-tər How to pronounce accoutre (audio)
variants or accouter
accoutred or accoutered; accoutring or accoutering ə-ˈkü-tə-riŋ How to pronounce accoutre (audio)

transitive verb

: to provide with equipment or furnishings : outfit
Choose the Right Synonym for accoutre

furnish, equip, outfit, appoint, accoutre mean to supply one with what is needed.

furnish implies the provision of any or all essentials for performing a function.

a sparsely furnished apartment

equip suggests the provision of something making for efficiency in action or use.

a fully equipped kitchen

outfit implies provision of a complete list or set of articles as for a journey, an expedition, or a special occupation.

outfitted the family for a ski trip

appoint implies provision of complete and usually elegant or elaborate equipment or furnishings.

a lavishly appointed apartment

accoutre suggests the supplying of personal dress or equipment for a special activity.

fully accoutred members of a polar expedition

Examples of accoutre in a Sentence

hikers accoutred with walking sticks, water bottles, trail maps, and compasses

Word History


borrowed from French accoutrer, going back to Middle French acoutrer, acoustrer, going back to Old French acoutrer "to put in place, position," perhaps going back to Gallo-Romance *acconsūtūrāre "to sew together, mend," from a-, prefix forming transitive verbs (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + *consūtūra "sewing, seam" — more at couture

Note: If the etymon behind accoutrer is *accō(n)sūtūrāre (>*accōs(ŭ)tūrāre?), the sense development is presumably from "sew together, mend" to "prepare, trim, adorn." The phonetic development is more difficult; the assumption is that the tonic form would be *acostur (1. singular) and the weak form nous acostrons, with the weak form being generalized throughout the paradigm. The longer form is evidenced in 13th-century racousturer, "to stitch up (a wound), mend (a garment)" (unless this verb is built independently on cousture). Such a development is possible, but it has been pointed out that verbs derived from nouns in -ūra tend to preserve the -ū-: amesurer, afaiturer, empasturer (though most such verbs clearly do not date back to earlier Gallo-Romance or Vulgar Latin). An alternative explanation sees accoutrer as a derivative of coutre, "coulter, blade (of a plow)," in which case the -s- in acoustrer would be hypercorrection ([s] in this position having disappeared by the 14th century); but the semantic development of such a verb is hardly transparent.

First Known Use

1533, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of accoutre was in 1533

Dictionary Entries Near accoutre

Cite this Entry

“Accoutre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants or accouter
accoutred or accoutered; accoutring or accoutering -ˈküt-ə-riŋ How to pronounce accoutre (audio)
: to provide with equipment : outfit
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