accoutrement

noun
ac·​cou·​tre·​ment | \ə-ˈkü-trə-mənt, -ˈkü-tər-mənt\
variants: or accouterment

Definition of accoutrement 

1a : 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 Shops offering the physical accoutrements of polite manners—lace, gloves, linen underclothing, snuff, and gentleman's powdered wigs …— Arthur Herman

2 : an identifying and often superficial characteristic or device usually used in plural … some of the other accouterments of power that define our diplomacy.— Elizabeth Drew

3 archaic : the act of accoutring

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Tracing Accoutrement Back to Old French

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."

Examples of accoutrement in a Sentence

this vacuum cleaner has all of the accoutrements for cleaning furniture as well as floors has all the accoutrements that the home pastry chef could ever want

Recent Examples on the Web

While many of the accoutrements of wellness can feel fun to own and use, much of it has been a placebo effect in my experience. Tasnim Ahmed, Allure, "I Bought Into the Commercialized Wellness Industry and It Left Me Broke (and Unwell)," 9 Aug. 2018 Be sure to have all the proper accoutrements for your guests to feel comfortable and enjoy their stay. Tinsley Mortimer, Town & Country, "The Do's and Don'ts of Hosting Overnight Guests This Summer," 8 June 2017 Inside, small vignettes turn up here and there, composed from little toys, knickknacks and accoutrements with African and African American ties — basketball players, Egyptian sphinxes, braided hair extensions, black ballerinas. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Lauren Halsey takes a fantastic voyage in MOCA's 'we still here, there'," 24 May 2018 Steal the famed chef’s favorite frankfurter trick, or dress your dog with these highly unusual but tasty accoutrements. Vogue, "Vogue’s Guide to the Ultimate Fourth of July," 2 July 2018 Black-and-white photographs show fly fishermen and their catches while colorful carved wooden figurines from the 1800s recreate fly fishermen and their accoutrements. John Goodspeed, San Antonio Express-News, "German hunting, fishing museum spans history back to the stone age," 14 June 2018 Once a fringe home accoutrement favored by eco-conscious consumers, solar does appear poised to mushroom as costs come down and homeowners welcome reduced utility bills. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Burning for Tesla Powerwall? Get ready to wait as Musk's solar vision takes a backseat to Model 3," 13 July 2018 The robot grinds the meat, forms the patties, griddles them (a process tracked by 11 thermal sensors), chops tomatoes and grates cheese for those who want such accoutrements, slices, toasts and butters the bun, and dispenses seasoning and sauces. The Economist, "The rise of the robochef," 12 July 2018 Although Broadway at Music Circus has relied on Muñoz and his team for over 15 years, the warehouse hasn't always been their exclusive hub for theatrical accoutrements. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Behind the scenes at Music Circus: "The better you are at your job, the less people notice"," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accoutrement.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accoutrement

circa 1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for accoutrement

borrowed from Middle French accoutrement, accoustrement, from accoutrer "to accoutre" + -ment -ment

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Dictionary Entries near accoutrement

accouple

accouplement

accoutre

accoutrement

accpt

Accra

Accra copal

Statistics for accoutrement

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accoutrement

The first known use of accoutrement was circa 1550

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More Definitions for accoutrement

accoutrement

noun

English Language Learners Definition of accoutrement

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

More from Merriam-Webster on accoutrement

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for accoutrement

Nglish: Translation of accoutrement for Spanish Speakers

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