ward·​robe | \ ˈwȯr-ˌdrōb How to pronounce wardrobe (audio) \
plural wardrobes

Definition of wardrobe

1a : a collection of wearing apparel (as of one person or for one activity) a summer wardrobe
b : a collection of stage costumes and accessories working in the wardrobe department
2a chiefly British : a room or closet (see closet entry 1 sense 2) where clothes are kept
b : clothes press especially : a tall freestanding cabinet with a rod for hanging clothes
c : a large trunk in which clothes may be hung upright
3 : the department of a royal or noble household entrusted with the care of wearing apparel, jewels, and personal articles

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Did You Know?

There is a lot of word history packed into "wardrobe." The word was borrowed by Middle-English speakers from a variant of Anglo-French garderobe. A combination of "garder" and "robe," "garderobe" itself has been borrowed into English as a synonym of "wardrobe." If the roots of garderobe look familiar, it is because they are the source of a number of different English words. "Garder" has given us the English verbs "guard" and "ward." And "robe," of course, is the source of the English "robe" and shares its own origins with the English verbs "rob" and "reave" (a synonym of "plunder"). If this connection seems odd, it might help to know that "robe" can be traced back to the Old High German words rauba, meaning "booty," "spoils," or "looted clothing."

Examples of wardrobe in a Sentence

She has a new summer wardrobe. She went to wardrobe for her fitting.
Recent Examples on the Web Exotic’s sequin- and pattern-heavy wardrobe is a far cry from Cheban’s usual attire, but Peraza created the illusion by using a tricky material to great effect. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Meet the Designers Behind Your Favorite Celebrity Costumes," 3 Nov. 2020 Reviewers say this is a must-have staple for their little boy’s wardrobe and the quality is great. Erika Hardison, USA TODAY, "20 of the most adorable holiday outfits for kids," 20 Oct. 2020 Emily’s over-the-top wardrobe might be the best, most ridiculous part of this show. Washington Post, "25 questions we have after watching ‘Emily in Paris,’ Lily Collins’s utterly baffling new Netflix series," 6 Oct. 2020 Building your dream wardrobe has never been easier, thanks to today’s popular subscription services. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "Build the wardrobe of your dreams with these clothing subscription boxes," 11 Sep. 2020 No wardrobe is complete without a cozy pajama set, a silky robe, or many oversized tops. Sarah Han, Allure, "The Best Intimates and Loungewear to Buy During Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale," 20 Aug. 2020 Finally: No wardrobe is complete without a formal cummerbund (though are there informal cummerbunds?). Marc Bona, cleveland, "Brooks Brothers holding huge sale up to 70% off after filing for bankruptcy," 9 July 2020 In just a few months, the Los Angeles yoga teacher has dyed hundreds of items in her apartment, including a shower curtain, tote bags, towels, and everything white in her wardrobe. Shan Li, WSJ, "‘I Can Tie-Dye from Morning Until Night.’ DIY Fashion Craze Makes a Comeback," 30 Oct. 2020 The bride tried to infuse that sense of creativity into her wardrobe as well. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "This Wedding Doubled as a Tour of Thailand, From Chiang Mai to Phuket," 30 Oct. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for wardrobe

Middle English warderobe, from Anglo-French *warderobe, garderobe, from warder, garder to guard + robe robe

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Time Traveler for wardrobe

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wardrobe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wardrobe. Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for wardrobe


How to pronounce wardrobe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wardrobe

: a collection of clothes that a person owns or wears
: the clothes worn by actors in films, plays, etc. also : the department that keeps and takes care of the clothes for films, plays, etc.
: a room, closet, or chest where clothes are kept


ward·​robe | \ ˈwȯr-ˌdrōb How to pronounce wardrobe (audio) \

Kids Definition of wardrobe

1 : a room, closet, or large chest where clothes are kept
2 : the clothes a person owns

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