noun, often attributive
bou·​tique | \ bü-ˈtēk \

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 \ 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

More than shipyards and docked crabbing boats, it’s become known for chic boutiques and hip restaurants such as the Walrus and the Carpenter. Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times, "New Nordic? Seattle’s Scandinavian food scene reaches far beyond lutefisk and lingonberries," 7 Nov. 2018 Artists, bakers, chefs, scavengers, mobile boutiques, and more at indoor market. Luann Gibbs,, "Free and fun events this weekend in Cincinnati," 7 June 2018 There is also a modern enclave of cute boutiques and nice restaurants with river views at Riverwalk Landing, all of it walkable from the battlefield visitor's center. Laura Johnston,, "Exploring the Battle of Yorktown, decisive battle of Revolutionary War," 18 Apr. 2018 The former is a historic harbor district dotted with small galleries, cute coffeehouses, gritty street art, and hip boutiques. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Three Days In Istanbul," 28 Dec. 2018 Hiut has become a thriving boutique fashion brand (Exhibit A: Meghan Markle), and Mr. Hieatt has written a book about the power of email newsletters for business. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "The Hot New Channel for Reaching Real People: Email," 19 Jan. 2019 But for Shahab Karmely—owner and CEO of KAR Properties and the principal developer of the boutique property 2000 Ocean—luxury means more than just a high-rise plopped down on a private beach. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "Just Outside Miami, New Development 2000 Ocean Is Redefining Luxury, One Minotti Furnishing at a Time," 18 Jan. 2019 Visit any Nespresso boutique or partner store (including Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma) or pick up a free pod-recycling bag online that comes with a prepaid UPS shipping label. Alissa Katz, Good Housekeeping, "How to Dispose of Everything, Including Old Cell Phones, Mattresses, and Batteries," 8 Jan. 2019 The five buildings located on RH's California estate include two design boutiques that show their modern catalog as well as a selection of curated antiques. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Restoration Hardware's New California Compound Is A Wine Lover's Dream," 2 Jan. 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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Dictionary Entries near boutique






bouton pearl


Statistics for boutique

Last Updated

21 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for boutique

The first known use of boutique was in 1767

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More Definitions for boutique



English Language Learners Definition of boutique

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


bou·​tique | \ bü-ˈtēk \

Kids Definition of boutique

: a small fashionable shop


bou·​tique | \ bü-ˈtēk \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with boutique

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for boutique

Spanish Central: Translation of boutique

Nglish: Translation of boutique for Spanish Speakers

Comments on boutique

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a servile follower or underling

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