noun, often attributive
bou·​tique | \ bü-ˈtēk How to pronounce boutique (audio) \

Definition of boutique

1a : a small shop dealing in fashionable clothing or accessories
b : a small shop within a large department store
2 : a small company that offers highly specialized services or products boutique wineries an independent investment boutique

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Other Words from boutique

boutiquey \ bü-​ˈtē-​kē How to pronounce boutique (audio) \ adjective

Apothecaries, Bodegas, and Boutiques

Apothecary, bodega, and boutique may not look very similar, but they are all related both in meaning and in origin. Each of these words can be traced back to a Latin word for “storehouse” (apotheca), and each one refers in English to a retail establishment of some sort. Although bodega initially meant “a storehouse for wine,” it now most commonly refers to a grocery store in an urban area, especially one that specializes in Hispanic groceries. Boutique has also taken on new meanings: its first sense in English (“a small retail store”) is still current, but it now may also denote “a small company that offers highly specialized products or services.” Of the three words, apothecary has changed the least; it has gone from referring solely to the person who sells drugs or medicines to also naming the store where such goods are sold.

Examples of boutique in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Timothy Grindle, the owner of the Canoe Club boutique in Boulder, Colo., noted that his customers seem far more open to buying a thoughtfully Frankenstein’d shirt than, say, a pair of conspicuously wide-legged trousers. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Meet the Frankenshirt. It’s Three (or Seven) Shirts in One," 8 Dec. 2020 The timepiece, which was inspired by the Roman numerals in the clock above the entrance at the Tiffany Fifth Avenue flagship boutique in New York, is available at Lindzi Scharf, Los Angeles Times, "The absolute best luxury watches and jewelry," 4 Dec. 2020 The beloved beauty boutique never disappoints its bargain-hunting customers. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, "The 13 Most Exciting Deals From Ulta Beauty's Big Cyber Monday Sale," 30 Nov. 2020 The boutique runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 31 and gives you the opportunity to browse and contact the artists directly for sales. cleveland, "Take a story walk with the Heights Libraries: Press Run," 27 Nov. 2020 Bunky is taking online orders with free shipping while the boutique is temporarily closed during its move to 1001 N. Central Ave. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "Small Business Saturday: 20 independent metro Phoenix stores to have on your radar," 25 Nov. 2020 Now the car is being offered for sale through the California classic car boutique Scott Grundfor Co. for considerably more: $465,000. Christopher Wynn, Dallas News, "Jazz queen Ella Fitzgerald’s custom ’59 Mercedes-Benz 300D Cabriolet is jaw-dropping in its price and beauty," 23 Nov. 2020 The boutique companies Rivian and Bollinger already offer all-electric pickups. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Ford’s new F-150: America’s favorite pickup goes hybrid (in more ways than one)," 2 Jan. 2021 The boutique condominium, a former printing factory near West Street, was converted into 35 luxury residences in 2018. New York Times, "Top Sales Show How Pandemic Continues to Influence the Market," 1 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'boutique.' 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 boutique

1767, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for boutique

French, shop, probably from Old Occitan botica, ultimately from Greek apothēkē storehouse — more at apothecary

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Time Traveler for boutique

Time Traveler

The first known use of boutique was in 1767

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Statistics for boutique

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Boutique.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for boutique


How to pronounce boutique (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of boutique

: a small store that sells stylish clothing or other usually expensive things


bou·​tique | \ bü-ˈtēk How to pronounce boutique (audio) \

Kids Definition of boutique

: a small fashionable shop


bou·​tique | \ bü-ˈtēk How to pronounce boutique (audio) \

Legal Definition of boutique

: a small company that offers highly specialized services or products specifically : a small law firm that offers services in one or a small number of legal areas

More from Merriam-Webster on boutique

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for boutique

Nglish: Translation of boutique for Spanish Speakers

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