ap·par·el | \ ə-ˈper-əl , -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 , -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

Grocery chain Kroger is developing its own apparel brand with some help from globally-renowned fashion designer Joe Mimran. Emily Price, Fortune, "Kroger Is Launching Its Own Fashion Brand," 9 July 2018 Our in-house apparel brand is one size and multifunctional. Gail Goldberg,, "Intentionally Blank steps it up with new Mission store," 21 June 2018 Several apparel brands, including Bight Gear, Blackyak, Giro, and Goldwin, have signed on to make products using Power Fill insulation. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Polartec’s Synthetic Insulation Is Now Fully Recycled," 15 June 2018 State Forty Eight: An Arizona-centric sports apparel brand. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "The Churchill: Restaurants, breweries are opening inside shipping containers in downtown Phoenix," 6 June 2018 The beachy apparel brand Chubbies opened its first Northeast outpost on Newbury Street in March and plans to stay open through December. Janelle Nanos,, "Here’s a look at the new shops opening on Newbury Street this summer," 25 May 2018 Old Navy, for example, is one of the country’s fastest-growing apparel brands among major retailers. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "The Glass Runway: Our Exclusive Survey on the State of the Fashion Industry," 21 May 2018 And many large apparel brands have histories human rights abuses under the belt. Liz Raiss, GQ, "Kanye West, Tweeting Through It, Announces New Yeezys," 11 May 2018 Launched online in 2007 with its signature line of better-fitting men's pants, Bonobos is now the largest apparel brand ever built on the web in the United States, offering a full menswear assortment. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Trendy menswear store announced as new Ice Blocks tenant | The Sacramento Bee," 3 May 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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Statistics for apparel

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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

: clothing of a particular kind


ap·par·el | \ ə-ˈper-əl \

Kids Definition of apparel

: things that are worn : clothing summer apparel

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Comments on apparel

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a magnificent or impressive array

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