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caparison

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noun ca·par·i·son \ kə-ˈper-ə-sən , -ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of caparison

1 a :an ornamental covering for a horse
b :decorative trappings and harness
2 :rich clothing :adornment

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Examples of caparison in a Sentence

  1. attended the masquerade ball in the caparison of an Indian maharaja

  2. horses dressed in Old-West caparison for the parade

Did You Know?

Caparison first embellished English in the 1500s, when we borrowed it from the Middle French caparaçon. Early caparisons were likely used to display the heraldic colors of a horseman, and in some cases may also have functioned as protective covering for the horse. In British India, it was elephants, not horses, that were decked out with caparisons-and to this day both animals can still be seen in such attire during parades and circuses. It did not take long for caparison to come to refer to the ornate clothing worn by a man or woman. Caparison also serves English as a verb, a use first recorded in Shakespeare when Richard III commanded, "Come, bustle, bustle; caparison my horse."

Origin and Etymology of caparison

Medieval French caparaçon, from Old Spanish caparazón


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caparison

verb

Definition of caparison

transitive verb
:to provide with or as if with a rich ornamental covering :adorn
  • the trees stood majestically caparisoned, with their innumerable leaves gilt
  • —Virginia Woolf

Examples of caparison in a Sentence

  1. used to seeing him in a T-shirt and jeans, we were startled by the sight of strapping youth caparisoned for the prom in a tuxedo

  2. the state's rolling hills are even more becoming when they are caparisoned in the glorious colors of autumn

First Known Use of caparison

1594


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