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


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

Participants of the styling event will be able to dress and style Barbie in over 80 custom doll-sized apparel and accessories all from the Kith Women line. James Love, Essence, "KITH WOMEN Teams Up With Barbie For Capsule Collection," 17 Sep. 2019 Of course, there were cries for boycotts of the company’s apparel and videos of people burning their Nike shoes in protest, the sort of impassioned response Nike courts and capitalizes on to remain in the news far longer than a 60-second commercial. Kevin Draper, New York Times, "Colin Kaepernick ‘Dream Crazy’ Ad Wins Nike an Emmy," 16 Sep. 2019 The expo, dubbed the world’s biggest for sand sports, will include demonstrations, sales of accessories, apparel and more. Daily Pilot, "Around Town: BMX competition will wheelie into H.B. Friday," 12 Sep. 2019 Quantis, a firm that guides top brands on sustainability, estimates that the global apparel and footwear industries combined produce 8% of all greenhouse-gas emissions. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Is carbon-neutrality fashion’s next runway trend?," 12 Sep. 2019 For years, Columbia has made durable apparel and accessories that will hold up in the great outdoors. Kelsey Mulvey, Popular Mechanics, "Columbia’s Best-Selling Hiking Boots Are Now More Affordable," 4 Sep. 2019 Two years ago, apparel company Tommy Hilfiger (which, full disclosure, our agency worked with on their campaign) launched an adaptive clothing line called Tommy Adaptive that makes getting dressed easier for people with physical disabilities. Christina Mallon, Quartz at Work, "The disabled community is the world’s third-largest economic power," 10 Sep. 2019 The amendments added by the Assembly include provisions designed to address potential conflicts between prospective athlete deals and school deals, such as shoe-and-apparel contracts. Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY, "California Assembly passes bill that brings state to verge of rules showdown with NCAA," 9 Sep. 2019 For lower-value goods such as apparel, the harm done by tariffs to American businesses facing cost increases really does outweigh the harm done to China. Nicholas Phillips, National Review, "The Trade War Is Smart Geopolitics," 5 Sep. 2019

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

15 Oct 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).


involving a confidence or trust

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