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 To help fill the demand, her employees are making the shift from Kentucky Derby couture to cutting the material and sewing masks for the foreseeable future. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Switching gears: Milliners are using Kentucky Derby hat supplies for protective face masks," 1 Apr. 2020 Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director at Givenchy — which has done men’s ready-to-wear since 1969 — introduced men’s looks to the brand’s couture collections in 2018. New York Times, "What a Man Wants … to Wear," 25 Feb. 2020 The look, snagged by RiRi thanks to stylist Jahleel Weaver, comes from Alexandre Vauthier’s spring/summer 2020 couture collection. Braden Bjella, Teen Vogue, "Rihanna Wore Alexandre Vauthier for Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Oscars 2020 After-Party," 11 Feb. 2020 Gaultier launched his business in 1982 and showed his first couture collection in 1997, according to Business of Fashion. Hanna Flanagan,, "Jean Paul Gaultier Announces He Is Retiring, Says Next Fashion Show Will Be His Last," 17 Jan. 2020 Evidence: The 31-year-old stepped out in an attention-grabbing, asymmetrical white dress from Georges Hobeika’s fall 2019 couture collection. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Vanessa Hudgens Serves a Whole Lot of Look Post-Breakup," 15 Jan. 2020 Dion paid homage to her by wearing one of the pieces from her spring 2019 couture collection, a red and black trompe l'oeil dress. Ana Colón, Glamour, "We Need to Talk About Céline Dion’s Haute Couture Fashion Week Outfits," 2 July 2019 Given her status, Meghan Markle has couture gowns and high-end accessories at her fingertips, but that doesn’t mean her entire wardrobe is filled with pricey designer styles. Rebecca Carhart,, "Meghan Markle’s Exact Everlane Styles Are All on Sale — but Only for a Few More Hours," 3 Apr. 2020 One person distributing masks to Seminara’s Masks4Medicine and other places is Samantha Sleeper, a Parsons School of Design alumna and former instructor who runs a studio that makes couture gowns. Max Kutner, Smithsonian Magazine, "As Face Mask Supply Dwindles, Fashion Designers Offer Their Assistance," 27 Mar. 2020

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

22 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Couture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for couture


How to pronounce couture (audio) How to pronounce couture (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on couture

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for couture

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with couture

Spanish Central: Translation of couture

Nglish: Translation of couture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of couture for Arabic Speakers

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