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 In May, several retailers including Macy’s Inc., T.J. Maxx owner TJX Cos. and Target Corp. reported strong sales for the spring quarter, noting that apparel, beauty and travel products were all selling well. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, 9 June 2021 Keep in mind that in fashion retail - the bulk of apparel, footwear, and accessories still comes from China with few alternatives on the horizon - and any competitive advantage that comes their way is greatly appreciated. Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Otherwild, founded by Rachel Berks in 2012, is behind the resurgence of the powerful slogan shirt, amongst other apparel, housewares, apothecary items and more. Felicity Warner, USA TODAY, 7 June 2021 Harvest Collective is an indoor/outdoor venue hosted by Morris’s sister, Sarah Lopez, and featuring wares such as artisan apparel, home décor and plants, and eco-friendly and sustainable items. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 June 2021 To inspire active participation in the world outside through award-winning coverage of the sports, people, places, adventure, discoveries, health and fitness, gear and apparel, trends and events that make up an active lifestyle. Outside Online, 3 June 2021 Art Director Alexander Farnsworth and his partner, designer Adam Lippes, known for his minimal, feminine apparel beloved by the likes of Oprah Winfrey. Ashley Simpson, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 June 2021 The sales span all categories, including beauty, apparel, kitchen/dining, electronics, and more — and the discounts are deep. Lauren Swanson, Allure, 2 June 2021 In apparel, Nike’s figured out the sweet spot for high-performance fitness pieces that masquerade as real clothes. Arden Fanning Andrews, Vogue, 24 May 2021 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,, 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, 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., 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

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

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Apparel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on apparel

Nglish: Translation of apparel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apparel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about apparel


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