costume

noun
cos·​tume | \ ˈkä-ˌstüm How to pronounce costume (audio) , -ˌstyüm also -stəm or ˈkäs-ˌchüm How to pronounce costume (audio) \

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 How to pronounce costume (audio) , -ˈstyüm also käs-ˈchüm; or ˈkä-ˌst(y)üm or ˈkäs-ˌchüm How to pronounce costume (audio) or -stəm How to pronounce costume (audio) \
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 How to pronounce costume (audio) , -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

The network announced that production has officially started on the season, and released the first photo of Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in costume. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "See the First Photo of Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in Outlander's Fifth Season," 16 Apr. 2019 Last year, Jason and Kendyl attended a father-daughter dance at her school and showed up decked out in costume to fit the '80s theme. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr's Children," 6 Apr. 2019 As if that weren't enough, there's even a parade that features dogs and ponies in costumes. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Resort Has the Most Stunning Lilac Festival You’ll Ever See," 5 Apr. 2019 The staff will be in costume as famous cartoon characters. Fox News, "Trumpism vs. socialism? DeSantis, Gillum face off in Florida," 29 Aug. 2018 For Redman, a trip to a costume shop is not necessary. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Patty Turner Center turns back the clock to the 1950s," 12 July 2018 Naturally, the besties hit the red carpet in style, and while we're used to seeing them on our television screens in their Game of Thrones costumes, the special evening had them in totally glamorous looks. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams Matched at the “Game of Thrones” Red Carpet Premiere," 4 Apr. 2019 But the identities of the singers weren't the only thing that inspired Toybina's costumes, which somehow only took two months to make. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Every 'Masked Singer' Fan Has Been Overlooking This Major Clue," 23 Jan. 2019 Like his other work, which includes giant Super Soakers, self-tracking dart-boards, and techie halloween costumes, Rober’s latest invention is meant primarily as a bit of lighthearted fun. Jon Porter, The Verge, "YouTuber builds glitter bomb that farts on unsuspecting package thieves," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The brainchild of Arianne Phillips, who has worked on films like Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, and costumed many of Madonna’s global tours, the film’s groovy fashion takes center stage. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Once Upon a Time In Hollywood," 20 Mar. 2019 To mark New Orleans' tricentennial anniversary, 300 volunteers plan to costume as angels today in scattered locations across the city. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "If you spot a Tricentennial Angel Monday (May 7), send us a photo," 7 May 2018 But the tranquility of this cooperative enclave is disturbed by the intrusion of some aggressive ICE agents and by the murder of a young woman grotesquely costumed as Marie Antoinette. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: When the Wheels Come Off," 25 Jan. 2019 Elisa Benzoni’s subtle costuming — matching shirts, stripes, similar colors — hints at the connections between characters, time and place. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "North Coast Rep's clever 'Father' slips inside the demented mind," 3 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Catherine left her stylish imprint on interiors, too, and even costume design. Penelope Rowlands, ELLE Decor, "Designer Alessandra Branca's New Private Client Atelier by the Seine," 15 Mar. 2019 If red, white, and blue feels too costume-y for your style, try an all-denim look instead. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "7 Fourth of July Outfits You'll Want to Wear All Summer Long," 15 June 2018 The same goes for any costumes that reference immigration issues — other people's real struggles are not costume fodder. Marci Robin, Good Housekeeping, "15 Offensive Halloween Costumes You Should Never Wear," 1 Aug. 2018 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

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

6 May 2019

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 How to pronounce costume (audio) , -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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