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

Their work, which includes sets and costumes, mixes the past, present and future, along with the utopian and dystopian, to create mythologies across time that are often exaggerated to the absurd. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lux unveils 13th residency season with a focus on inclusivity," 12 July 2019 Simple additions of clothing signal that a performer has returned as someone else (costumes by Wendell C. Carmichael). Daryl H. Miller, latimes.com, "Review: Small theaters think big with ‘Ragtime’ at the Chance and ‘The Producers’ at Celebration," 11 July 2019 Presented for the second time by host Nick Cannon, the show will see each celebrity participant dressed from head to toe in all-new costumes, as seen in two new teaser videos for the upcoming season. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "The Masked Singer Shares New Teasers (and Costumes!) for Season 2 — Here's When It Premieres," 10 July 2019 This time, Sethward didn't wait another season, returning in a walrus costume, jumping on a beach ball and falling on his head and eventually off the stage. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "'AGT': A six-pack of memorably weird acts from Season 14 auditions," 8 July 2019 The show won’t have any trouble selling out, because this ensemble knows what audiences want: song parodies, cheesy costumes, beautiful wilderness photos, frequent jabs at Alaskan weirdness and, of course, that snotty political humor. Donna Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Whale Fat Follies’ launches final run with a hint of wistfulness and signature raucous humor," 28 June 2019 Saturday's party features Kiss tribute band Kiss Resurrection starting at 10 p.m. The show comes complete with costumes, makeup, blood, fire, smoke and more. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "William Shatner, WWE's Kurt Angle and AEW's Dustin Rhodes headline Days of the Dead 2019," 25 June 2019 The Coney Island Mermaid Parade, a colorful spectacle of participants in zany aquatic costumes, ushered in the New York summer for the 37th time. Doug Duran, The Mercury News, "Photos: Coney Island Mermaid Parade," 22 June 2019 The lineup includes doggy contests (costume, longest tail feather, bone toss), games for the two-leggers (volleyball, corn hole) and a photo booth. Tatia Woldt, Dallas News, "Dog About Town: Take your pooch to a birthday party this weekend," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bio: Jacob Hexa is a 22-year-old, non-binary, gay, multi-artist specializing in makeup, sculpture, and costuming who is currently pursuing a degree geared toward their passion in costume design. Angela Watercutter And Samantha Cooper, WIRED, "5 Queer People on How They Found Their Chosen Families," 28 June 2019 Even the shows that do costume their casts with designer pieces generally prefer to do so with bold logos or an outfit that screams STYLE! Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Schitt’s Creek Is Giving the Gift of Fashion This Holiday Season—and All 2019 Long," 20 Dec. 2018 The film, with Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo in the lead roles, found near-unanimous critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic — a rarity for Zeffirelli — and received Oscar nominations for costuming, scenography and artistic direction. Colleen Barry, chicagotribune.com, "Famed Italian director Franco Zeffirelli dies at age 96," 15 June 2019 Kruger has 10 years of experience as a cosplayer with specialization in leather working, while Helum brings experience in theater and movie costuming with a specialization in sewing. Sarah Espedido, orlandosentinel.com, "MegaCon costume repair center offers a place to fix cosplay," 12 June 2019 Without relying on makeup or costuming, DeCaro’s extended transformation is a comedic tour de force as Gene becomes more and more bestial. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Hilarious ‘Rhinoceros’ revival in SF comes just in time," 6 June 2019 Maile Okamura’s costuming for the five women, translucent dresses with flared skirts in an array of luminous hues, as well as that for the six men, in simple, sleeveless tops and pants in a faint silvery shade, recall the coloring of rainbow trout. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "A Troupe From Florida and a Piscine World Premiere," 15 Aug. 2018 As Guava Island executive producer and Glover’s frequent collaborator Ibra Ake explains, the wardrobe and costuming pulls from the African diaspora to create a totally new world. Vogue, "Behind the Scenes of Donald Glover and Rihanna’s Guava Island," 13 Apr. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In my opinion, a person can never be too prepared for the holiday — there’s candy to buy, costume ideas to brainstorm, spooktacular porch decor to plan, and delightfully campy movies to watch. Elissa Sanci, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About Freeform's '31 Nights of Halloween'," 19 June 2019 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

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

15 Jul 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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