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

Onto the good stuff from premiere night, like how wardrobe put a big target on Spicer’s back (and front) by putting him in a hideous neon shirt. Lynette Rice, EW.com, "Dancing With the Stars recap: Sean Spicer makes a bigly impression...with his shirt," 17 Sep. 2019 However, Amazon's wardrobe offerings extend far beyond the basics. Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune, "Amazon’s In-House Products Go Far Beyond AmazonBasics," 16 Sep. 2019 The John Lewis brand has been a longtime supporter of Smart Works, donating seasonal wardrobes of new stock and running volunteering programs with the organization. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Duchess Meghan Brought the Smart Works Fashion Collection to Life," 12 Sep. 2019 These questions eventually led to today’s launch of Smart Set, the capsule collection of five wardrobe essentials that will be sold in stores and online. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Inside the Launch of Meghan Markle's New Fashion Collection with Smart Works," 12 Sep. 2019 The organization agreed and overturned the decision, noting that the rules require a referee to bring any potential wardrobe violation to the coach's attention before a race begins. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Decision to disqualify high school swimmer over her "suit wedgie" is overturned," 11 Sep. 2019 Invest in a few products to keep yourself comfortable Loading up on SPF and investing in a few wardrobe essentials will not only protect your skin, but also keep you comfortable in the heat. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "5 tips for exercising outdoors in warm weather," 9 Sep. 2019 In contrast to her reporting reputation, one of her most outstanding and memorable traits was her somewhat flamboyant wardrobe and love of shopping and clothes. Kristi Belcamino, Twin Cities, "Longtime Pioneer Press reporter Virginia Rybin, ‘a newsroom legend,’ dies at 75," 8 Sep. 2019 Emmett Richmond Costume Sweet and unassuming, Emmett's business-casual wardrobe totally fits his easygoing vibe. Caylin Harris, Country Living, "The Best 'Legally Blonde' Costumes to Bend and Snap In This Halloween," 6 Sep. 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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Statistics for wardrobe

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wardrobe

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

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More Definitions for wardrobe



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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