accoutrement

noun
ac·​cou·​tre·​ment | \ ə-ˈkü-trə-mənt How to pronounce accoutrement (audio) , -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

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a deep blue and gold sash over her Alexander McQueen dress for tonight's gathering at Buckingham Palace, marking her first time wearing the accoutrement in public. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wears Her Royal Victorian Order Sash for the First Time," 3 June 2019 Examining these heirloom fabrics has become a yearly ritual for my mother and me, a moment alone spent marveling over the handiwork, and ensuring that each garment is stored with its matching accoutrements: a choli (blouse) and petticoat. Leah Bhabha, Vogue, "Something Borrowed: How I Turned a 100-Year-Old Sari Into My Wedding Veil," 28 May 2019 Roger Federer played his first match at Wimbledon today against Dusan Lajovic, not in his usual Nike accoutrements but instead, a fresh new kit from Uniqlo. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Roger Federer Plays His First Match at Wimbledon in a New Uniqlo Uniform," 2 July 2018 In 16th-century Europe, Lady Justice began wearing a new accoutrement: a blindfold to represent the impartial application of the law. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "‘Justice’ Is a Judicious Choice for ‘Word of the Year’," 21 Dec. 2018 With the not-so-subtle return of 1980s glamour (hello, bold shoulders and slouch boots) comes an emphasis on luxe accoutrement, including feathers. Harper's BAZAAR, "10 Trends to Go All In On for 2019," 8 Jan. 2019 This classic mobile furnishing on wheels was designed to hold an array of beverages, barware, stemware, and all the accoutrements to serve a guest—or yourself—a drink. Wendy Manwarren Generes, Country Living, "Not Just for Cocktails: 4 Inventive New Uses for a Bar Cart," 25 Feb. 2014 In fact, even with all its name recognition in the mattress space, Casper is hardly the first choice for selling sleep accoutrements. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Getting a good night’s sleep is a luxury — and can come at a high price.," 9 Oct. 2018 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

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

17 Jun 2019

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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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