ap·​par·​el | \ ə-ˈper-əl, -ˈpa-rəl\

Definition of apparel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : personal attire : clothing of a particular kind dressed in fine apparel used chiefly in U.S. English to refer to clothing that is being sold in stores a new line of women's apparelathletic apparel
2 : the equipment (such as sails and rigging) of a ship
3 : something that clothes or adorns the bright apparel of spring


ap·​par·​el | \ ə-ˈper-əl, -ˈpa-rəl\
appareled or apparelled; appareling or apparelling

Definition of apparel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put clothes on : dress was formally appareled [=was wearing formal clothes]
2 : adorn, embellish accused of appareling the truth

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Examples of apparel in a Sentence


a sale on summer apparel for women


a designer who regularly apparels several of the presenters at the Oscar ceremonies

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The company last month reported sales rose 10% in the latest quarter, driven by growth in both shoes and apparel. Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "Gillette’s Ad With a #MeToo Edge Gets Mixed Reactions," 17 Jan. 2019 Popular activist apparel brand Splendid Rain Co. is alleging that Etsy removed its shop and consistently makes things difficult for black shop owners, Yahoo Style reports. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "A Popular Black Designer Alleges Etsy "Removed" Her Shop Because It’s "Too Controversial"," 13 Sep. 2018 Now the brand is looking to distinguish itself from competitors like Nike, which still dominates the sneaker marketplace, by elevating the importance of off-court style in its basketball shoes and apparel. New York Times, "Jay-Z, Known Basketball Fan, to Help Puma Sell Sneakers," 19 June 2018 Then later this summer, Asics, which sells athletic shoes and apparel, will open a 2,826 square foot-store store at Concord Mills next to Starbucks. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Concord Mills adding new stores amid renovation | Charlotte Observer," 30 Apr. 2018 StockX, the resale platform that treats shoes and apparel like stocks, says that search traffic for Yeezy has actually gone up dramatically since Tuesday, by a whole 25 percent. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Kanye West's Trump Endorsement Is Having a Weird Effect on the Yeezy Brand," 27 Apr. 2018 The 52-page document also suggests potential lifetime bans for coaches who cheat and a shift in the complex relationship with elite youth basketball and the shoe and apparel companies that pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the sport. David Wharton,, "Commission on College Basketball calls for reforms on one-and-dones, undrafted players," 25 Apr. 2018 Immediate deals that need to be decided upon by top of draft QBs are trading cards, memorabilia, and shoe and apparel. Robert Klemko,, "The Business of Baker Mayfield," 12 Apr. 2018 To help you be fully prepared for your next outdoor workout, our editors tested tons of apparel and gear on their recent runs, swims, hikes, and more. Amy Marturana, SELF, "The 20 Best New Running, Hiking, and Swimming Accessories and Apparel," 12 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The hilarious picture, also shows Smalling donning some Manchester United coloured shorts at a young age, paired with what can only be described as a beautiful Ghost Busters appareled blouse., "Chris Smalling Reckons He's Found a Better Alternative to New iPhone in Hilarious Tweet," 18 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apparel.' 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 apparel


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for apparel


Middle English apparaile, apparell "furnishings, equipment, dress," borrowed from Anglo-French apparail, noun derivative of apparailler "to prepare, equip, dress" — more at apparel entry 2


Middle English apparailen, apareilen "to prepare, equip, dress," borrowed from Anglo-French apparailler, apareiller, going back to Vulgar Latin *appariculāre, probably verbal derivative of *appariculum, re-formation (with Latin -culum, suffix of instrument) of Latin apparātus "act of preparing, equipment, apparatus"

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Statistics for apparel

Last Updated

22 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for apparel

The first known use of apparel was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for apparel



English Language Learners Definition of apparel

: clothing of a particular kind


ap·​par·​el | \ ə-ˈper-əl \

Kids Definition of apparel

: things that are worn : clothing summer apparel

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Comments on apparel

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to settle judicially or to act as judge

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