verb ac·cou·tre \ ə-ˈkü-tər \
variants: or accouter

Definition of accoutre

accoutred or accoutered; accoutring or accoutering play \-ˈkü-tə-riŋ, -ˈkü-triŋ\
: to provide with equipment or furnishings : outfit

Examples of accoutre in a Sentence

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

Origin and Etymology of accoutre

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.

Synonym Discussion of 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

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fullness to the point of excess

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