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 storesa 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 Revenue for men’s apparel rose 38% year-over-year in the quarter, with strong sales of outerwear, pants and underwear. Francesca Fontana, WSJ, "JPMorgan Chase, FedEx, Alphabet: Stocks That Defined the Week," 18 Jan. 2020 Knowing what the consumer wants is getting harder, particularly with apparel, and as new generations adopt minimalist and sustainability lifestyles. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Retailers haven’t figured out how to beat Amazon, but they’re focused on the bigger picture now," 16 Jan. 2020 In recent years, bike-apparel companies have stepped up to build gear to keep you seriously warm and dry during the most frigid rides. Graham Averill, Outside Online, "Winter Cycling Gear to Get You Through the Coldest Days," 11 Jan. 2020 With this deal, all 17 of St. X’s varsity sports teams will use Under Armour apparel for competition and practices beginning July 1, 2020. Shelby Dermer,, "St. Xavier High School signs new deal with Under Armour," 9 Jan. 2020 For the people in your life who are always at the gym, passionate about fitness or looking to start an exercise routine, the holidays are a great time to give them gear, equipment and apparel that's sure to motivate them and enhance their lives. Noelle Ike, CNN Money, "The best fitness and health gifts for starting the new year off stronger than ever," 23 Dec. 2019 Roslyn Karamoko’s Detroit is the New Black apparel shop, the StockX sneaker exchange, and hundreds of other startups showed that there was indeed economic life in the city, after all. John Gallagher,, "Departing Free Press columnist John Gallagher pens open letter to Detroiters," 19 Dec. 2019 Since the 1990s, when Los Angeles replaced New York as the center of the domestic apparel manufacturing industry, the city’s local revenue has reached $42 billion annually. Haley Mlotek, The New Republic, "Fast Fashion at the End of the World," 19 Dec. 2019 Today’s ice shelters and apparel offer significant advantages. Field & Stream, "10 High-Tech Tools to Change the Way You Ice Fish," 18 Dec. 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

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

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apparel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for apparel


How to pronounce apparel (audio)

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 express in a more acceptable way

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