epaulet

play
noun ep·au·let \ ˌe-pə-ˈlet ; 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

epauletted

play \ˌe-pə-ˈle-təd, ˈe-pə-ˌle-\ adjective

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Recent Examples of epaulet from the Web

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.

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.)

Illustration of epaulet

Origin and Etymology of 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


EPAULET Defined for English Language Learners

epaulet

play
noun

Definition of epaulet for English Language Learners

  • : a decorative piece on the shoulder of a uniform



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