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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Shopbop has contemporary apparel — dresses, casual tops and sneakers — and designer label bags and jewelry. oregonlive, "Happy graduation: Send congratulations, gifts safely from a distance," 17 May 2020 The coronavirus has deepened the ongoing troubles for department stores, which have had a difficult time adjusting to the rise of digital threats and nimble physical competitors that offer affordable fast-fashion apparel. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "J.C. Penney files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, plans some permanent store closings," 15 May 2020 Players can also create and personalize their MyPLAYERs with equipment and apparel from licensed brands including: Adidas, Polo Ralph Lauren, Malbon Golf, Callaway Golf, Bridgestone Golf, TaylorMade Golf and more. Rana L. Cash, The Courier-Journal, "St. X grad and PGA Tour star Justin Thomas is on the cover of PGA Tour 2K21 video game," 14 May 2020 Tons of similar chunky sweaters and joggers are available from other retailers — and some items are even marked down massively, since most sites are clearing out their winter apparel to make room for spring and summer clothes. Tanya Ghahremani,, "Taylor Swift's Free People Sweater Sold Out, but Her $78 Joggers Are Still in Stock," 8 May 2020 More recently, the H&M Group announced a plan to make all its apparel from recycled or sustainably-sourced materials by 2030. Isabelle Gerretsen And Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "The world is paying a high price for cheap clothes," 3 May 2020 The brand has been committed to sustainability from the beginning: 90 percent of the fibers used to make its apparel are organic or recycled. The Editors, Outside Online, "6 Brands Supporting Earth Day—and How You Can Help," 22 Apr. 2020 Service members returning to the mainland from the Pacific made the signature apparel more popular than ever. Teddy Brokaw, Smithsonian Magazine, "The History of the Hawaiian Shirt," 16 Apr. 2020 Dacy now has over 71K followers and a full online clothing store selling apparel from size small to 5XL. Christina Oehler,, "This Influencer Has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 and It Inspired Her to Make a Size-Inclusive Clothing Line," 8 Apr. 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.

See More

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"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about apparel

Time Traveler for apparel

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for apparel

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apparel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!