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


Definition of accoutrement

  1. 1a :  equipment, trappings; specifically :  a soldier's outfit usually not including clothes and weapons —usually used in pluralb :  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. 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. 3 archaic :  the act of accoutring

accoutrement was our Word of the Day on 05/28/2012. Hear the podcast!

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."

Origin and Etymology of accoutrement

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

First Known Use: circa 1550

ACCOUTREMENT Defined for English Language Learners


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

Definition of accoutrement for English Language Learners

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

Seen and Heard

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to cast off or become cast off

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