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

With these new business opportunities, Amazon Fashion is out to crush the apparel game. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Amazon Fashion Now Sells J.Crew Clothes for Both Men and Women," 5 Sep. 2018 The alleged attack marks the latest incident in which someone said they had been harassed for wearing pro-Trump apparel. Ben Tobin, USA TODAY, "San Antonio police probe alleged assault of teen wearing a Make America Great Again hat," 5 July 2018 For men, Tommy John carries underwear, undershirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, socks and other apparel. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Upscale underwear retailer to open second-ever store at SouthPark mall," 26 June 2018 Thank you @carrieunderwood This apparel cake idea was adorable! Rebecca Farley,, "About That Carrie Underwood & Kelly Clarkson Beef...," 25 June 2018 The athletic apparel company alerted customers Thursday about a possible data breach on its U.S. website. Bloomberg,, "Adidas data breach may have hit millions of customers," 28 June 2018 Women’s apparel retailer J.Jill will open this fall at The Shops at Kenilworth, the Towson mall’s owner said Monday. Lorraine Mirabella,, "J.Jill will open at Shops at Kenilworth in Towson in the fall," 18 June 2018 As part of the deal, Fanatics would also become the league's apparel retailer. Jenna West,, "Report: Nike to Supply MLB Uniforms Instead of Under Armour," 24 May 2018 Certainly not the apparel retailers, as veteran Los Angeles designer Trina Turk is linking with Macy's INC International Concepts line to create a mini-collection showcasing her signature patterns and colors. Marcy Medina | Wwd,, "Trina Turk teams with Macy's on mini-collection for men and women," 24 Apr. 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

12 Nov 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

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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