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

So Disney pioneered proprietary software programs that provide predictive renderings and pre-visualizations that assist in everything from seeing how a figure moves in a costume to predicting when components need replacing. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The A1000 Is Disney's Advanced Animatronic Bringing the Galaxy's Edge Star Wars Theme Park To Life," 28 Feb. 2019 There are pieces of me from my heart in each costume. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Seattle Times, "Costume Designers Guild honors Ruth E. Carter, Glenn Close," 20 Feb. 2019 Plenty of talented riders show up, but plenty ride in costumes. Jason Gay, WSJ, "My Big, Fat Fat-Biking Adventure," 14 Feb. 2019 Subtle personal references appear throughout, including a sofa Ryan designed for the Interior Define furniture company and a portrait of his daughter, Ursula, in period costume. Erin Geiger Smith, House Beautiful, "Apartment Therapy's Maxwell Ryan's Home Is An Awesome Mix Of Scandinavian And Barnhouse Chic," 9 Jan. 2019 Running in costumes has become a tradition at many turkey trots, which contributes to the fun vibe. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Thanksgiving is now the most popular race day in America.," 20 Nov. 2018 Think: time travel, the end of the world, and a looming figure in a rabbit costume named Frank, who comes bearing messages for Gyllenhaal. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "16 Classic Halloween Movies You Can Stream Right Now," 17 Oct. 2018 Subway’ ensemble Photo: The Museum at FIT The exhibition’s organizers—Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the museum, and Colleen Hill, its curator of costume and accessories—have chosen shows that were influential or innovative. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "‘Exhibitionism: 50 Years of The Museum at FIT’ Review: Fashion History Hits the Runway," 12 Feb. 2019 Meghan wears a black and white dress that looks vaguely reminiscent of a French maid costume and Katharine wears a pixie-like green ensemble, complete with fake leaf adornments. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Katharine McPhee Shares an Adorable Throwback Picture of Meghan Markle's Youth Theater Days," 2 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

11 Mar 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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