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 storesa 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 Fresh grocery items add to the list of more than 250,000 Target products, including household essentials and apparel, currently available for pickup. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Target Will Now Offer Fresh and Frozen Groceries for Curbside Pickup," 25 June 2020 Dhvani athletic apparel is giving away reusable cotton masks to anyone who requests one on their website. Beth Spotswood,, "Don’t hide away amid virus, but take the perils seriously," 24 June 2020 Boy Smells focuses on candles and intimate apparel that embraces the full gender spectrum. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "25 brands that are giving back for Pride Month," 22 June 2020 But its biggest focus has been on pivoting its personalized apparel business to make customized masks and directional signage that use the colors and mascots of schools. Natalie Walters, Dallas News, "Cheerleading giant Varsity Brands gets $185 million in new capital to power through pandemic," 22 June 2020 From this time last year, Poshmark saw a 75-percent increase in orders and listings of women’s tie-dye apparel. NBC News, "Best summer dresses to shop in 2020, according to experts," 22 June 2020 Patagonia, another outdoor apparel brand, pulled advertising on Facebook and Instagram on Sunday as part of the boycott. Allen Kim And Brian Fung, CNN, "These are the companies that say they'll boycott Facebook for its hate policies," 22 June 2020 L Space by Monica Wise swim and apparel was designed for covering up or playing in the sun. oregonlive, "This summer’s must-buy swimwear is here and everyone’s having sales," 17 June 2020 Founded by a former dancer and fitness trainer named Dee, Boddee Goals offers fitness apparel and home gym equipment inspired by the idea that fitness is universal and there's no ideal body type to strive for. Christina Oehler,, "10 Black-Owned Wellness Companies to Help You Practice Self-Care Right Now," 17 June 2020 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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Time Traveler for apparel

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for apparel

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apparel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for apparel


How to pronounce apparel (audio)

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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