liv·​ery | \ˈli-və-rē, ˈliv-rē\
plural liveries

Definition of livery 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : the apportioning of provisions especially to servants : allowance

2a : the distinctive clothing or badge formerly worn by the retainers (see retainer entry 1 sense 1) of a person of rank

b : a servant's uniform

c : distinctive dress : garb a nun's traditional livery

d chiefly British : an identifying design (as on a vehicle) that designates ownership

3 archaic

a : one's retainers or retinue

b : the members of a British livery company

4 : the act of delivering legal possession of property

5a : the feeding, stabling, and care of horses for pay

b : livery stable

c : a concern offering vehicles (such as boats) for rent a canoe livery an automobile livery



Definition of livery (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : resembling liver

2 : suggesting liver disorder

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Synonyms for livery

Synonyms: Noun

outfit, uniform

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Examples of livery in a Sentence


the limousine chauffeur was easily distinguished from the cab drivers by his livery

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Porsche probably had the most buzz before the race, no doubt thanks to the very cool retro liveries on the #911 and #912. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The Petit Le Mans: More proof we’re in a golden age for sportscar racing," 18 Oct. 2018 The Black Car Fund was created by the New York state legislature in 1999 to provide workers’ compensation insurance for livery and black car drivers. Washington Post, "NYC drivers for Uber, other apps to get vision care coverage," 29 June 2018 The drivers who have taken their lives were from across the industry — men who drove taxis and for livery and black car services. New York Times, "Taxi Drivers in New York Are Struggling. So Are Uber Drivers.," 17 June 2018 Pippa’s Dale Coyne Racing team offered up the car’s livery as an in-kind donation to Susan G. Komen, and Pippa took care of the rest, raising more than $200,000. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: In car funded by you, Indiana, Pippa Mann is racing for all of us," 16 May 2018 The special liveries debut Monday and will fly on the jets through Aug. 31. Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, "Southwest rolls out five shark-themed Boeing 737s for Shark Week," 9 July 2018 Take it from veteran Chicago cabby Nnamdi Uwazie: The shock waves from the recent suicides of five New York City taxi and livery drivers are being felt in the Windy City as well. NBC News, "In the shadow of Uber's rise, taxi driver suicides leave cabbies shaken," 7 June 2018 Friends and family members believe Mr. Chow jumped to his death, adding to a string of apparent suicides of traditional taxi and livery drivers in the city. New York Times, "Another Taxi Driver in Debt Takes His Life. That’s 5 in 5 Months.," 27 May 2018 The craft brewery specializing in Belgian- and French-style beers occupies a building used as the livery for the funeral home’s team of white horses, and the pub sits in the former chapel with original wood beams and light fixtures. Katherine Rodeghier,, "Midwest eats: Spice up your meal by dining in one of these repurposed restaurants," 26 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for livery


Middle English, from Anglo-French liveree, livree, literally, delivery, from liverer to deliver, from Latin liberare to free — more at liberate


see liver entry 1

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Statistics for livery

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for livery

The first known use of livery was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for livery



English Language Learners Definition of livery

: the business of keeping vehicles that people can hire

: the colors or designs that are used on a company's products, vehicles, etc.

: a special uniform worn by servants especially in the past


liv·​ery | \ˈli-və-rē, ˈliv-rē\
plural liveries

Kids Definition of livery

1 : a special uniform worn by the servants of a wealthy household

2 : the business of keeping horses and vehicles for hire : a place ( livery stable ) that keeps horses and vehicles for hire


liv·​ery | \ˈliv-ə-rē \

Medical Definition of livery 

: suggesting liver disorder : liverish

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Comments on livery

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


by force of circumstances

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