la·​pel lə-ˈpel How to pronounce lapel (audio)
: the part of a garment that is turned back
specifically : the fold of the front of a coat that is usually a continuation of the collar
lapelled adjective
or lapeled

Examples of lapel in a Sentence

He wore a carnation in his lapel.
Recent Examples on the Web But an off-hand comment by one of his examiners, about the tricolor ribbon pinned to his lapel — a nationalist symbol in Viktor Orbán’s Hungary — sparks a controversy that soon snowballs into a nationwide scandal. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 2 Sep. 2023 The business also offers a higher-level MTM product with a greater amount of handwork, including hand-padded lapels. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 21 Aug. 2023 The fabric must match the season, trouser cuffs must be exactly 1 5/8 inch, lapels must never buckle or stick out from the jacket, among many other sartorial codes. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 29 July 2023 The Praise to the Sea collection includes a variety of statement necklaces and other designs, while a selection of brooches has also been crafted with unisex wear in mind, with several seemingly perfect to adorn a tuxedo lapel on an awards night. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 July 2023 They’d also be seen in wide-leg pants, pencil skirts with scarf neck blouses, and tailored blazers with exaggerated lapels and structured shoulders. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 16 Aug. 2023 With the fastidiousness of an outsider and an obsessive eye for detail—the placement of a hook vent, the stitch of a lapel seam—Press painstakingly crafted his own version of the Brooks look. Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, The New Republic, 14 Aug. 2023 The actor was first photographed wearing the cream double-breasted jacket, featuring a quilted lapel, while attending a White House state dinner with her son Maddox back in April. Emily Chan, Vogue, 1 Aug. 2023 The two-piece outfit, in Missoni’s signature knit, is reminiscent of an old-school leisure suit with a matching orange-and-black chevron print, loose-fitting trousers, and wide lapels on the button-up cardigan which Richie wore open over a simple black tank top. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 1 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lapel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


diminutive of lap entry 1

First Known Use

1789, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lapel was in 1789

Dictionary Entries Near lapel

Cite this Entry

“Lapel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


la·​pel lə-ˈpel How to pronounce lapel (audio)
: the fold of the front of a coat that is usually a part of the collar

More from Merriam-Webster on lapel

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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