cou·​ture | \ kü-ˈtu̇r , -ˈtᵫr \

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

The dreamy white gown is by couture designer Galia Lahav, who shared a screenshot from Bey's video on Instagram. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Wore the Coolest Wedding Gown for Her Vow Renewal with Jay-Z," 2 Jan. 2019 New York couture designer Zang Toi was surprised by requests for silk jersey bodysuits after showing his Spring 2014 collection. Pia Catton, WSJ, "Serena Williams Can Rock a Bodysuit. Can You?," 5 June 2018 And for some, to the couture shows in Paris next week. Catherine Scott, Vogue, "During Pitti Uomo, Luisa Via Roma and the Naked Heart Foundation Announced Their Collaboration With a Dazzling Gala Dinner," 10 Jan. 2019 Fun entered the adult world, too, in the form of Braniff Airways’ cozy VIP lounge, decorated with international folk art, and Alcoa’s commissions for portable summer houses, game tables and even haute-couture evening gowns. Ann Landi, WSJ, "What to Give: Books on Design," 15 Nov. 2018 For this more private celebration, Meghan Markle changed out of her wedding dress—the haute-couture Givenchy, a French brand helmed at the moment by Clare Waight Keller, a Brit and the brand’s first female artistic director. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Royal Wedding: Meghan Markle Changes into a High-Necked, Sleeveless Reception Gown," 19 May 2018 The fabric provides visual contrast, a barrier which separates the stage into segments, a podium of sorts that directs the eye to certain moments, and, when cut off into smaller pieces, haute-couture ponchos snapped across the dancers’ bodies. Lauren Warnecke,, "'In a Rhythm': Choreographer Bebe Miller talks a lot, the music includes a Nelly hit — it's a fascinating, atypical approach to dance," 6 Apr. 2018 For the hour-long episode, Karl Lagerfeld, Virginie Viard, Amanda Harlech, and Chanel’s seamstresses allowed Rossi inside 31 Rue Cambon to witness the week leading up to the couture show. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Watch the Trailer for 7 Days Out, the New Netflix Series That Goes Inside a Chanel Couture Show and Other Landmark Events," 11 Dec. 2018 Theia is a renowned Irish couture brand, of which Meghan must be a fan, as her custom version of the classic dress is a perfect fit for the Duchess. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Just Paired a Jaw-Dropping White Ball Gown with One of Princess Diana's Rings," 25 Oct. 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

12 Feb 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

Nglish: Translation of couture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of couture for Arabic Speakers

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