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


ap·​par·​el | \ ə-ˈper-əl How to pronounce apparel (audio) , -ˈpa-rəl\
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

Each box hits some (or all) of these categories: apparel, gear, food, energy, skin care, and emergency. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Is an Outdoor Gear Subscription Worth It?," 15 Feb. 2019 On November 25 get 20% off running sneakers and apparel with code 'DAILYDEAL5'. Glamour, "All The Black Friday Fashion Deals You Need to Know," 22 Nov. 2018 Although some of that subscriber fee goes directly to Twitch, Ninja also receives donations and makes additional money through apparel, sponsorships, advertising, and appearances, including a recent Samsung commercial. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite star Ninja is getting his own 12-hour New Years Eve broadcast in Times Square," 26 Oct. 2018 Anti-counterfeiting Similar traceability efforts are also playing out in the worlds of luxury goods, apparel, cosmetics, fine art, and high-end spirits — anywhere, essentially, that knockoffs abound. Hilary George-parkin, Vox, "The technology behind bitcoin is coming for retail, and you probably won’t even notice.," 18 Oct. 2018 However, the online giant spreads out other discounts on electronics, jewelry, apparel, toys and more throughout the rest of the week. Jolie Peters, House Beautiful, "Here's What To Expect From Amazon's Cyber Monday Deals This Year," 25 Sep. 2018 The online-only Cyber in July sale is live through Wednesday, July 18, featuring extra 30% off select apparel, shoes, accessories, fine jewelry, and home items. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "Target Is Holding a Major Online Sale on Amazon Prime Day," 16 July 2018 The boutique, called GW, sells trendy designer apparel, jewelry, shoes and accessories at low prices. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Goodwill to open a boutique in South End," 13 July 2018 The schools, which have made patriotism central to their brand, including white, or blue student apparel, have been a hit in the conservative East Valley. Craig Harris, azcentral, "Arizona charter school founder makes millions building his own schools," 11 July 2018

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

19 Mar 2019

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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

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to move or proceed with twists and turns

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