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


The book discusses the relationship between culture and couture. I can't afford to wear couture.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Based in New York, Wu is best known for his ability to blur the lines between classic sportswear and elevated couture—a practice of indulgence and restraint that parallels the art of mid-century modern. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Best Room Wins," 30 May 2019 Next up was the annual Chopard party that night: Priyanka wore a lavender scalloped Fendi couture dress with a pair of structured white heels by Fendi, too. Tess Kornfeld, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' Coordinating Cannes Outfits Deserve Their Own Award," 19 May 2019 Jiro went onto study couture in Paris while Gabby took sewing and pattern making classes at a Los Angeles trade school. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Poche Studio Is the Fashion Brand Making Bucket Hats Inspired by Cakes," 17 May 2019 My grandmother gave me my first couture suit at 17 by a designer who has long since disappeared. Danielle Steel, Harper's BAZAAR, "Danielle Steele: A Fashion Love Story," 2 May 2019 Piccioli’s vision of unapologetic beauty, which either exists or is closely descended from true couture, is almost iconoclastic in a style climate ruled by irony. Jessica Iredale, Town & Country, "When Did "Wearable" Become a Dirty Word in Fashion?," 27 Mar. 2019 Overall: Like that ever-so-versatile wardrobe must-have, the Little Black Dress, the 2018 Audi SQ5 is both elegant and everyday, sporty and stylish — though its price is too couture for my closet. Jennifer Geiger, USA TODAY, "Review: Audi's SQ5 blazes new SUV trails," 23 Feb. 2018 Stephanie Cockrell paired up Miles David creative director David Peck to create a one-of-a-kind look that's more couture than kooky. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, ""Crystal Ball" co-chair Stephanie Cockrell models a custom Miles David frock," 31 Jan. 2018 Featuring unexpected bright colors, over-the-top tulle, statement-making gowns, and incredible beadwork, Pierpaolo Piccioli's spring couture collection for the Italian house was every fashion lover's dream come to life. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Valentino Sent Feathered Hats Down The Runway For Those Of Us Who Bask in Being Extra," 24 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for couture

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for couture

The first known use of couture was in 1908

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with couture

Spanish Central: Translation of couture

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Britannica English: Translation of couture for Arabic Speakers

Comments on couture

What made you want to look up couture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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