cou·​ture | \ kü-ˈtu̇r How to pronounce couture (audio) , -ˈtᵫr How to pronounce couture (audio) \

Definition of couture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the business of designing, making, and selling fashionable custom-made clothing the world of Paris couture
2 : the designers and establishments engaged in couture For more than a century, the couture was the undisputed fashion source for women in the Western world.— Bernadine Morris
3 : the clothes created by couture For them, buying French couture has become a status symbol, something to rack up along with their brand-new BMWs and their hacienda-style villas …Vogue



Definition of couture (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being high-end custom-made fashion Neither are these designers unduly concerned about styles that lend themselves to being folded and packed—the couture clientele travels with trunks, not duffel bags, and, presumably, there is always someone on the other end to take care of the wrinkles.— Bernadine Morris However, Owens credits his success to the ease of what he calls his "T-shirt versions of couture dresses."— David Colman

Examples of couture in a Sentence

Noun The book discusses the relationship between culture and couture. I can't afford to wear couture.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The total look is from the designer’s fall 2020 couture collection, which aimed to make a statement about overconsumption and overproduction. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra Jonas Brought Upcycled Couture to the BAFTAs," 11 Apr. 2021 Some of the most storied names in couture can be found here, including LVMH chief Bernard Arnault and brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, controllers of the Chanel fashion house. Lisette Voytko, Forbes, "How Billionaires Got So Rich In 2021," 8 Apr. 2021 The same milestone is being recognized for the Citroën SM, which is also part of a bigger commemoration of French automotive couture. Howard Walker, Robb Report, "The Quail Motorsports Gathering Will Let the Good Times Roll Again This Year," 23 Apr. 2021 Emmys was strewn with nondetachable pins; and the open décolleté of Schiaparelli couture dress from its spring-summer 2021 collection is edged with feral, gold-capped, mega-size, nondetachable tooth brooches (surely a nightmare to dry clean). New York Times, "The Brooch Is Back, Baby," 24 Mar. 2021 Bensley collected antiques from Parisian flea markets for years before the opening of Hotel de la Coupole, a palatial resort inspired by 1920s French haute-couture and the textile traditions of northern Vietnamese hill tribes. Travel + Leisure Staff, Travel + Leisure, "It List 2020: Our Editors’ Picks of the Best New Hotels in the World," 19 Feb. 2020 In 2018, when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement, Markle wore a black couture Ralph & Russo gown with beaded bodice, priced at $75,000 for their official photos. Allyson Portee, Forbes, "British Haute Couture House Ralph & Russo Has Gone Into Administration Due To Perilous Economic Downturn," 18 Mar. 2021 After a while, the endless high-society events, cutting-edge couture, and class discrimination become boring when you’ve been banished from ever enjoying them again! Cara Michelle Smith, The New Yorker, "Ivanka Loves Florida!," 29 Mar. 2021 Valentino couture added eccentric elegance to the night’s proceedings. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Cynthia Erivo Delivers a Red Carpet Moment Made for the Internet," 1 Mar. 2021

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


1908, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for couture


French, from Old French cousture sewing, from Vulgar Latin *consutura, from Latin consutus, past participle of consuere to sew together, from com- + suere to sew — more at sew

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Time Traveler for couture

Time Traveler

The first known use of couture was in 1908

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Statistics for couture

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Couture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of couture

somewhat formal
: the business of designing, making, or selling women's clothes also : women's clothes in general

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