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

After other journalists in the audience expressed some skepticism, it was revealed that Boris was no robot, but merely a man wearing a robot costume. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Dancing Robot at Russian Event Turns Out to Be a Man in a Costume," 12 Dec. 2018 According to Engadget, the filters will dress up your Bitmoji in a special costume on your Snap Map. Casey Newton, The Verge, "One way Twitter’s ad archive improves on Facebook’s," 3 Nov. 2018 The clips show Jenner and her baby bump posing in a mirror, wearing a costume very reminiscent of this year's. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Just Revealed the Halloween Costume She Wore While Pregnant," 2 Nov. 2018 Perhaps the most notorious room is the leopard-print bathroom covered in Helmut Newton photographs—including Elsa Peretti in a bunny costume. Kate Donnelly, Town & Country, "At Home with Texas Philanthropist Lynn Wyatt," 19 Oct. 2018 Electro is a classic Ditko villain, drawn in a garish green costume adorned with yellow lightning bolts. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Steve Ditko’s Ordinary People," 10 July 2018 To honor the legendary stuntman, Pastrana — who is 34 and lives outside Annapolis, Md. — wore a costume similar to Knievel’s, including a white jumpsuit with white stars and a blue V, plus high-heeled dress boots. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "Maryland man replicates three of Evel Knievel’s iconic motorcycle jumps," 9 July 2018 No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Fourth of July: Are you violating US flag code? Probably," 4 July 2018 The young man wearing the suit could surely compete for awards at any costume contest, so long as the judges don't confuse him for a robot. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Dancing Robot at Russian Event Turns Out to Be a Man in a Costume," 12 Dec. 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

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 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

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

14 Jan 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, -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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