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

When apparel brand Commando engineered its seamless underwear line in 2003, suddenly any kind of underwear could be worn sans panty lines. Shira Feder, Vox, "The rise of granny panties," 5 June 2019 Dressbarn parent Ascena also owns women’s apparel brands Ann Taylor and Loft, among others. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Ascena’s Dressbarn to Shut Down," 20 May 2019 Setting a standard for inclusion Last summer, Manuel signed a contract with sponsor TYR (a popular competitive swim and triathlon apparel brand) that includes a reportedly unprecedented inclusion rider. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Why Olympic Swimmer Simone Manuel Put an Inclusion Rider in Her Latest Contract," 23 May 2019 The athletic apparel and footwear maker has been taking steps to reverse a slide in sales and stock price that started toward the end of 2016. Lorraine Mirabella,, "Nike - not Under Armour - will supply MLB uniforms, report says," 24 May 2018 Technically, the apparel is a wearable device designed for amateur athletes who participate in outdoor sports like soccer, football, and rugby. Chris Morris, Fortune, "'Man Bra' on Display at CES 2018, Turning 'Seinfeld' Joke Into Reality," 11 Jan. 2018 Missoni has partnered with Adidas Running on a limited-edition collection of performance shoes and sports apparel, releasing today at and Missoni boutiques, and tomorrow at Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Missoni and Adidas Meet Cute—Very, Very Cute," 24 Apr. 2019 An Alabama pastor on Sunday used a pair of scissors during a sermon to destroy Nike items after learning the apparel company endorsed Colin Kaepernick. Fox News, "Alabama pastor cuts up Nikes during sermon in Kaepernick protest," 12 Sep. 2018 There are Ultraboost sneakers, and on the apparel front, a short-sleeved shirt, jacket, and shorts, all using Adidas’s proprietary Primeknit technology, which makes them both breathable and lightweight. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Missoni and Adidas Meet Cute—Very, Very Cute," 24 Apr. 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

11 Jun 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

What made you want to look up apparel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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