rai·​ment | \ ˈrā-mənt How to pronounce raiment (audio) \

Definition of raiment

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Get Fancy and Define Raiment

If you seek a fancy word to describe the clothes on your back, you have no shortage of colorful options. There's "apparel" and "attire," certainly, as well as "garments." "Habiliments" and "vestments" suggest clothes of a particular profession (as in "a clergyman’s vestments"), while "garb" is effective for describing clothes of a particular style (as in "traditional Scottish garb"). If slang is more your game, try "duds," "rags," or "threads." "Raiment" tends to appear mostly in classical contexts, though it pops up from time to time in contemporary English from authors looking to add a touch of formality. Raiment derives from Middle English, where it was short for "arrayment," from the verb "arrayen" ("to array").

Examples of raiment in a Sentence

the prince exchanged his silken raiment for the pauper's humble homespun
Recent Examples on the Web Is not the life more than the food, and the body more than the raiment? Bob Odenkirk, The New Yorker, "A Biblical Rough Draft," 28 Oct. 2019 Thousands of miles to the south, Inca rulers controlled as many as 37 million people, enriched by such abundance that the nobility clothed themselves in gilded raiments and decorated their homes with gold and silver ornaments. Tom Gjelten, Washington Post, "In Latin America, colonialism’s violent, seemingly inescapable legacy," 23 Aug. 2019 Two of the giants on display, topped with gold crowns and clad in flowing red and deep green raiment, are region-specific. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "For Hundreds of Years, Papier-Mâché Has Lent a Surreal Face to Catalan Culture," 3 July 2018 Floral Headpiece, who noticed an unusual amount of red raiment adorning the female guests, quickly took credit for it all. The Masked Observer, AL.com, "The Masked Observer discovers a lot of Eastern Shore energy with the Pierrettes," 31 Jan. 2018 The cabin at 11720 W. Howard Ave. was long ago enveloped in 20th century raiment. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Greenfield finding log cabins covered over by modern siding," 31 Oct. 2017 The play is about history and war and catastrophe and love, domestic and otherwise, in its glittering raiments. Cynthia Zarin, The New Yorker, "Thornton Wilder’s Optimistic Catastrophe: “The Skin of Our Teeth”," 12 Mar. 2017 The group, now with a wealthy and aristocratic membership of elite Catholics who parade in ornate raiment, has more recently specialized in aiding refugees and the poor in more than 100 countries. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Ten Centuries Later, a Pope and Knights Do Battle," 28 Jan. 2017 This traditional holiday treat returns — for the 38th straight year — from Nov. 24 through Dec. 24 with Hal Landon Jr. donning his Scrooge raiment for the 38th time and John-David Keller directing, also for the 38th year. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "On Theater: Variety will spice South Coast Repertory's new season," 15 June 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for raiment

Middle English rayment "clothing, adornment," aphetic variant of arayment, arrayment "preparation, equipment, furnishings, clothing," borrowed from Anglo-French arraiement "preparation, arrangement," from arraier, arreyer "to arrange, order, equip, attire, adorn" + -ment -ment — more at array entry 1

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The first known use of raiment was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Raiment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raiment. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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rai·​ment | \ ˈrā-mənt How to pronounce raiment (audio) \

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