epaulet

noun
ep·​au·​let | \ ˌe-pə-ˈlet How to pronounce epaulet (audio) ; ˈe-pə-ˌlet, -lət \
variants: or less commonly epaulette

Definition of epaulet

: something that ornaments or protects the shoulder: such as
a : an ornamental fringed shoulder pad formerly worn as part of a military uniform
b : an ornamental strip or loop sewn across the shoulder of a dress or coat

Illustration of epaulet

Illustration of epaulet

E epaulet

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Other Words from epaulet

epauletted \ ˌe-​pə-​ˈle-​təd How to pronounce epaulet (audio) , ˈe-​pə-​ˌle-​ \ adjective

Epaulet Has French and Latin Roots

The epaulet gets its name from what it covers - the shoulder. It comes from the French word épaulette, the diminutive of "épaule," meaning shoulder. (Another accepted spelling of the English word - "epaulette" - mirrors the French.) "Épaule" itself, though, comes from the Latin word spatha, meaning "spoon" or "sword." This Latin word (which traces back to Greek spathē, meaning "blade of a sword" or "oar") is also the root of the word spade - as in the playing card suit. (The digging implement "spade" is also a relative though the connection is less direct.)

Examples of epaulet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web British ship engineers wear purple stripes on their epaulets. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, 10 May 2020 The pictures show Charlotte, dressed in grey tights and a checkered smock dress with floppy epaulets, carrying bags of groceries, placing them in boxes and standing at someone's door ready to deliver. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, 1 May 2020 Its various elements — the lapels, epaulets, belt — were misplaced and reworked. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2020 But the impact of what the witness wore didn’t come solely from the golden epaulets and shiny buttons and medals. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2019 Earlier in his tenure, Bradshaw wore an epaulet on each shoulder, with five stars on each. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, 14 Oct. 2019 Outlier, a New York brand, makes perhaps the most minimal trench of the bunch—an epaulet-free, belt-free coat that swaps buttons for snaps. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 16 Oct. 2018 On his eighth birthday, he was presented with a general's uniform, complete with gold buttons and epaulets and things. CBS News, 19 June 2019 Just throw on this jacket, with awesome dropped shoulders, biker epaulet detail, and asymmetric zips. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, 6 Mar. 2019

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

1778, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for epaulet

French épaulette, diminutive of épaule shoulder, from Old French espalle, from Late Latin spatula shoulder blade, spoon, diminutive of Latin spatha spoon, sword — more at spade

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The first known use of epaulet was in 1778

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Dictionary Entries Near epaulet

epaulement

epaulet

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Cite this Entry

“Epaulet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epaulet. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for epaulet

epaulet

noun

English Language Learners Definition of epaulet

: a decorative piece on the shoulder of a uniform

More from Merriam-Webster on epaulet

Nglish: Translation of epaulet for Spanish Speakers

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