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


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

Noun a sale on summer apparel for women Verb a designer who regularly apparels several of the presenters at the Oscar ceremonies
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The council already includes some big players, including Parkdale, one of the world’s largest yarn manufacturers and apparel maker Intradeco. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Capitalism and the Border Crisis," 21 Mar. 2021 Gap and West announced their 10-year partnership last June -— an unveiling that initially caused the apparel maker's stock to soar nearly 19% on June 26 before leveling out weeks later. Chauncey Alcorn, CNN, "Kanye West is reportedly worth $6.6 billion," 18 Mar. 2021 The sports apparel maker said Monday the partnership with Copeland, a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, ended in 2019. Lorraine Mirabella,, "Under Armour has ended endorsement deal with ballet dancer Misty Copeland," 8 Mar. 2021 Putting physical wellness first is not new for Berry, who along with Thomas launched the Re-Spin fitness apparel line in early 2020. Charli Penn, Essence, "We Can’t Get Enough of Halle Berry and Van Hunt’s Beautiful Love Story," 4 Mar. 2021 On Friday, apparel maker Grunt Style released a statement to its customers condemning the violence. Brandon Lingle,, "Rioters wore Black Rifle Coffee, Grunt Style gear at Capitol siege," 18 Jan. 2021 Now, hot off the release of her new apparel line at Walmart, Drummond has revealed to Southern Living that the quilt sets will be back on store shelves and at on January 2. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, "Exclusive: Sold-Out Pioneer Woman Quilt Sets Will Return to Walmart January 2," 23 Dec. 2020 On Monday, 121-year-old apparel maker VF Corp. announced plans to acquire the business for $2.1 billion in cash—triggering questions about whether this was the start of the end for the brand. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Will the supply chain have to be remade for a COVID vaccine?," 11 Nov. 2020 For instance, Santa Barbara apparel maker Patagonia, which has never been shy about its environmental agenda, embroidered an expletive-embellished tag into a pair of its shorts earlier this year admonishing the current administration. Gregory Thomas,, "Politics on Instagram: Mountain athletes reach out to millions of voters before Election Day," 1 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The rapper has partnered with an unusually diverse array of brands to churn out everything from food to apparel to toys and more. Kim Bhasin,, "Travis Scott Has Become Corporate America’s Go-To Pitchman," 8 Oct. 2020 Reliance Retail has about 12,000 stores across India and sells everything from smartphones to groceries to apparel through various eponymous brands, including Reliance Fresh, Reliance Digital and Reliance Trends. Michelle Toh, CNN, "India's richest man has raised $3.4 billion for his retail empire in just a few weeks," 2 Oct. 2020 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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Time Traveler for apparel

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

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Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Apparel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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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