costume

noun
cos·​tume | \ˈkä-ˌstüm, -ˌstyüm also -stəm or ˈkäs-ˌchüm \

Definition of costume 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the prevailing fashion in coiffure, jewelry, and apparel of a period, country, or class

2 : an outfit worn to create the appearance characteristic of a particular period, person, place, or thing Halloween costumes

3 : a person's ensemble of outer garments especially : a woman's ensemble of dress with coat or jacket

costume

verb
cos·​tume | \kä-ˈstüm, -ˈstyüm also käs-ˈchüm; or ˈkä-ˌst(y)üm or ˈkäs-ˌchüm or -stəm \
costumed; costuming

Definition of costume (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to provide with a costume

2 : to design costumes for costume a play

costume

adjective
cos·​tume | \ˈkä-ˌstüm, -ˌstyüm also -stəm or ˈkäs-ˌchüm\

Definition of costume (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : characterized by the use of costumes a costume ball a costume drama

2 : suitable for or enhancing the effect of a particular costume a costume handbag

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Other Words from costume

Noun

costumey adjective

Examples of costume in a Sentence

Noun

children in their Halloween costumes a formal 18th-century Japanese costume

Verb

the days when people, costumed in their Sunday best, would parade along the grand avenue on Easter

Adjective

You're invited to a costume party!
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2017, Town and Country Magazine published a spread on Mr. Ghosn and his wife’s Marie Antoinette-themed wedding party at Versailles, featuring actors in 18th century costumes and wigs, and tables piled high with cakes and pastries. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "‘I Found This Very, Very Violent.’ Carlos Ghosn’s Arrest Tests Nissan-Renault Relationship," 22 Nov. 2018 From the intricate costumes and fantastical sets to the fluid movements and emotional music, the style of dance creates a seemingly different world. Tanisha Pina, Glamour, "The Best Foot Creams for Dry, Achy Feet, According to Ballerinas," 24 Sep. 2018 But the idea for the exhibition predated Trump's election, said Jill D'Alessandro, curator in charge of costume and textile arts for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which includes the de Young Museum. Fox News, "San Francisco museum shows off modern Muslim women's fashion," 21 Sep. 2018 The show also won best reality host for a competition program, as well as best directing for a reality program, best costumes, and best hairstyling at last week's Creative Arts Emmys. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "10 Important Moments You May Have Missed from the 2018 Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018 The opera, which originally cost $3.2 million to produce, consists of eight principal singers, 51 chorus members, 20 supers, two children, 234 costumes and 64 orchestral musicians. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' was turned into an opera and it's making its American debut in Cincinnati," 13 July 2018 The production was a disaster, with a malfunctioning dry-ice machine, overheated costumes and an unfinished score that Mr. Knussen continued tweaking for another four years. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Oliver Knussen, influential composer of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ opera, dies at 66," 12 July 2018 Creative Family Fun: Shark Shenanigans Celebrate Shark Awareness Day by making a shark costume and taking photos. SFChronicle.com, "Kids listings," 5 July 2018 On the day of his trial, McCune put on the clown costume and makeup at home and drove to the Jackson Village Hall, one of many locations in Washington and Ozaukee counties where the Mid-Moraine Municipal Court sets up shop to hear local cases. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: Washington County Board member shows up in a clown suit at his seat belt trial," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The costumes were designed by his wife, who specializes in costuming from between the Roman era and the Restoration era, Hewes said. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "PowPAC's 'Romeo and Juliet' opens Friday," 3 July 2018 All together, the aesthetic rang of the costuming in the cult-classic movie, Dazed & Confused, but with a slightly glossier, updated sense of wearability. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Designer Calvin Luo Reveals a ’70s-Spanning Menswear Collection in Paris," 26 June 2018 Another good friend of mine in the drag community that's really good at drag costuming is Cee-Cee LaRouge. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "Drag queen Lucy Stoole's guide to Pride 2018," 21 June 2018 Nugent belongs to two Star Wars costuming groups — the 501st Legion and the Mandalorian Mercs — that volunteer at nonprofit organizations such as Make-A-Wish. Stephen Ruiz, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Star Wars Half Marathon runner uses force of storied movie franchise for good," 20 Apr. 2018 Of course, no amount of costuming could hide Aguilera’s voice. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Christina Aguilera and Jimmy Fallon Go Subway Busking in Disguise, Fooling No One," 15 June 2018 Marianne Pease traveled from Maryland as part of her ongoing effort to promote costuming as an art form. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Costume makers converge on San Diego for convention of creativity," 14 May 2018 Critcheloe has always had a keen eye for costuming and set design. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Ssion on His New Album O and His Absurdist, Sequin-Filled Sense of Style," 2 July 2018 Omari Hardwick’s costuming recalls Shaft (1971) and Coffy (1973), a kind of literal pun on blaxploitation movie history and black exploitation in the workplace. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sorry to Bother You Is a Brilliant Black Comedy About Race, Labor, and Magic," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Antonio Banderas puts the finishing touches on his portrait of Picasso in the season finale of this costume drama, which changes subjects (and stars) season to season. Gabe Cohn, New York Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: James Corden in Britain and ‘Hannah Gadsby: Nanette’," 19 June 2018 Jessica Pushor, costume collections manager, displayed a pair of velvet rhinestone pumps (circa 1905) from the archives that were once worn by the second Mrs. Marshall Field, Delia. Candace Jordan, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago History Museum's Costume Council luncheon honors shoe designer Brian Atwood," 13 June 2018 Others involved with the production are Lisa Friedrichs (musical director), Clifford Harrison (lighting and sound design), Mariah Salvadori (assistant student director), Kiley Velasquez (stage manager) and Ryan Connolly (costume assistant). Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "'Mary Poppins' opens at Rancho Bernardo High next week," 18 Apr. 2018 Raymond will help with refining concepts, costume construction and the eventual roll out. Patricia Madej, Philly.com, "Philadelphia Union searching for mascot," 13 Apr. 2018 Rag & Bone’s version feels discreet, not costume-y. Christine Whitney, WSJ, "An Obsessive A-Z Guide to Spring’s Best Women’s Denim," 5 Apr. 2018 During their three weeks on site last summer, the dance makers also were expected to deliver their musical, scenic and costume requirements to the company. Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. Ballet whirls Unbound into historic dance festival," 4 Apr. 2018 Sunday’s annual Easter Parade on Fifth around St. Patrick’s Cathedral might not be a full-fledged parade as a much as a gathering of the fashion-minded and costume conscious. WSJ, "In an Easter Bonnet, With All Those Frills Upon It," 1 Apr. 2018 Mark Bridges, who won best costume design for Phantom Thread, ultimately made off with the shortest speech and was wheeled out on the jet ski at the end of the show with Helen Mirren. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "7 things you should know happened at the Oscars," 5 Mar. 2018

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

Noun

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for costume

Noun

French, from Italian, custom, dress, from Latin consuetudin-, consuetudo custom — more at custom

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Statistics for costume

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for costume

The first known use of costume was in 1668

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More Definitions for costume

costume

noun

English Language Learners Definition of costume

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the clothes that are worn by someone (such as an actor) who is trying to look like a different person or thing

: the clothes worn by a group of people especially during a particular time in the past

costume

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of costume (Entry 2 of 2)

: involving people wearing costumes

costume

noun
cos·​tume | \ˈkäs-ˌtüm, -ˌtyüm\

Kids Definition of costume

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : special or fancy dress (as for wear on the stage or at a masquerade)

2 : style of clothing, ornaments, and hair used during a certain period, in a certain region, or by a certain class or group ancient Roman costume peasant costume

costume

verb
costumed; costuming

Kids Definition of costume (Entry 2 of 2)

: to provide with a special or fancy outfit

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Comments on costume

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