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 : clothespress 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 There was always someone on crew alerting the wardrobe department. BostonGlobe.com, "The actor, at 50, has never had a starring TV role – though after leading popular film comedies Rudd explained by phone that he was up for a new kind of challenge.," 19 Oct. 2019 And while the stretchy black pants had gone from being a niche piece to a wardrobe staple, swinging from styled casually to more put together, there was not a shoe equivalent. Shannon Fitzgerald, Fortune, "How Sustainable Startup Rothy’s Found Success Turning Recycled Water Bottles into Fashionable Footwear," 15 Sep. 2019 In the world of wardrobe staples, there is one undisputed queen: The white button-down shirt. Town & Country, "How to Wear a Classic White Button-Down Shirt for Any Occasion," 3 Sep. 2019 From the writers, to the cast, to the hair, makeup, and wardrobe departments, I am surrounded by women supporting me in my work. Ashley Nicole Black, Glamour, "Ashley Nicole Black Is Having a Big Bitch Summer," 29 Aug. 2019 But there's another influence at work in the wardrobe department, that of techwear luminary Errolson Hugh. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "How my favorite designer ended up being featured in Hobbs and Shaw," 11 Aug. 2019 And decades later, famous-name designer jeans — dressed up or down — remain a woman’s wardrobe staple. Ula Ilnytzky, SFChronicle.com, "Heiress, socialite and fashion pioneer Gloria Vanderbilt dies at 95," 17 June 2019 Part of Kathy’s process is to consult with the wardrobe department in order to coordinate the stars’ beauty vibes. Teen Vogue, "A Makeup Guide for Fans of "The Bold Type"," 11 June 2019 The night also served as a reminder that theater folk know their way around the wardrobe department. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Anna Wintour and Bee Carrozzini Host a Dinner in Honor of the Tony Awards," 20 May 2019

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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wardrobe.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wardrobe. Accessed 22 January 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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