ap·​par·​el | \ ə-ˈper-əl How to pronounce apparel (audio) , -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 How to pronounce apparel (audio) , -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

Missoni has partnered with Adidas Running on a limited-edition collection of performance shoes and sports apparel, releasing today at and Missoni boutiques, and tomorrow at Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Missoni and Adidas Meet Cute—Very, Very Cute," 24 Apr. 2019 An Alabama pastor on Sunday used a pair of scissors during a sermon to destroy Nike items after learning the apparel company endorsed Colin Kaepernick. Fox News, "Alabama pastor cuts up Nikes during sermon in Kaepernick protest," 12 Sep. 2018 There are Ultraboost sneakers, and on the apparel front, a short-sleeved shirt, jacket, and shorts, all using Adidas’s proprietary Primeknit technology, which makes them both breathable and lightweight. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Missoni and Adidas Meet Cute—Very, Very Cute," 24 Apr. 2019 On Sunday the apparel giant’s loyalty was rewarded when Mr. Woods won the Masters, capping a surprising turnaround that marketing experts say could restart Mr. Woods’s endorsement machine and provide a boost to Nike’s golf business. Khadeeja Safdar, WSJ, "Tiger Woods Rewards Nike’s Loyalty With Masters Win," 15 Apr. 2019 Beyonce will also design her own signature footwear and sportswear apparel for the brand, separate from Ivy Park. Asia Milia Ware, Teen Vogue, "Beyoncé Is Partnering With Adidas To Relaunch Ivy Park," 4 Apr. 2019 Shayk's model-off-duty apparel was nonetheless elegant, with a camel coat, chunky turtleneck sweater, white skirt, brown leather boots, and gold hoop earrings. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk Make a Rare Appearance in NYC," 20 Mar. 2019 Each box hits some (or all) of these categories: apparel, gear, food, energy, skin care, and emergency. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Is an Outdoor Gear Subscription Worth It?," 15 Feb. 2019 On November 25 get 20% off running sneakers and apparel with code 'DAILYDEAL5'. Glamour, "All The Black Friday Fashion Deals You Need to Know," 22 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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Learn More about apparel

Statistics for apparel

Last Updated

14 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

formal : clothing of a particular kind


ap·​par·​el | \ ə-ˈper-əl How to pronounce apparel (audio) \

Kids Definition of apparel

: things that are worn : clothing summer apparel

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Comments on apparel

What made you want to look up apparel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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