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 boutiquey (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 In Milan, the Montenapoleone district of luxury boutiques reopened, but few if any shoppers were in sight. Geir Moulson And Derek Gatopoulos, The Christian Science Monitor, "As pandemic ebbs, Europe slowly reopens for summer," 18 May 2020 Each lost booking is not only a blow to hotels and airlines but also to the myriad other businesses—from Parisian luxury boutiques to Asian street-food stands—that rely on travelers. Flavia Rotondi, Fortune, "‘Collective psychosis:’ As coronavirus fears grow, the world travel industry stares into the abyss," 4 Mar. 2020 Now, designer clothes get delivered to stores in small micro-shipments so luxury boutiques can refresh the sales floor every few weeks, just like H&M and Zara. Faran Krentcil, Harper's BAZAAR, "12 Ways Fashion Was Defined in the 2010s," 19 Dec. 2019 McConaughey, at Marble Distilling This drink is a fun twist on The Dude martini at Marble Distilling, a craft distillery and luxury boutique inn on Main Street in Carbondale. Sarah Kuta, The Know, "16 over-the-top Colorado hot chocolates — some packed with booze — to get you through the winter," 18 Dec. 2019 At the center of New York City's NoMad neighborhood, The James is a 337-room luxury boutique hotel famous for its classic Manhattan views. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "All the Hotel, Cruise, and Tour Deals to Book on Cyber Monday," 1 Dec. 2019 In one luxury boutique, employees used water vacuums and big squeegee mops to keep the brackish lagoon waters from advancing. Colleen Barry And Luca Bruno,, "Third record tide enters Venice as Italy hit with snow and rain," 17 Nov. 2019 Looking for a quiet, luxury boutique hotel just two blocks from the ocean in Palm Beach? David Lyons,, "Hotel boom means more rooms, more variety for tourists and business travelers in Palm Beach County," 26 Oct. 2019 The project revamped Mountain Shopping Center and Park Lane Apartments into 120,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 276-unit luxury apartments and the 100-room Grand Bohemian-Mountain Brook luxury boutique hotel. William Thornton |, al, "Mountain Brook post office coming to Lane Parke," 4 Sep. 2019

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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Boutique.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on boutique

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for boutique

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with boutique

Spanish Central: Translation of boutique

Nglish: Translation of boutique for Spanish Speakers

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