liv·​ery | \ ˈli-və-rē How to pronounce livery (audio) , 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
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

Five other New York City livery and cab drivers experiencing economic hardship have taken their own lives in recent months, most notably Douglas Schifter who killed himself on the steps of city hall. Phil Mccausland /, NBC News, "Sixth New York City cab driver dies of suicide after struggling financially," 16 June 2018 The Bohana puffs were a particular favorite—though all the parents, including me, found them to have a disconcerting, livery tang. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Is Healthy Snack Food Actually Healthy—or Just Addictive?," 18 Jan. 2019 The president, in media interviews, has discussed painting the planes red, white and blue, in contrast to the blue and white livery in place since the early 1960s. Doug Cameron, WSJ, "U.S., Boeing Complete $3.9 Billion Air Force One Deal," 17 July 2018 Retinues of servants in livery assured that fires were laid and lighted, that brass and silver were kept brightly polished. Michael Henry Adams, Town & Country, "Inside the Auction of Eileen Slocum's Astounding Newport Mansion," 28 Sep. 2018 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

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

22 Mar 2019

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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
British : 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 How to pronounce livery (audio) , 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 How to pronounce livery (audio) \

Medical Definition of livery

: suggesting liver disorder : liverish

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More from Merriam-Webster on livery

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with livery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for livery

Spanish Central: Translation of livery

Nglish: Translation of livery for Spanish Speakers

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).


something valued as if it were money

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