Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[uh-par-uh l] /əˈpær əl/
clothing, especially outerwear; garments; attire; raiment.
anything that decorates or covers.
superficial appearance; aspect; guise.
Nautical. the masts, sails, anchor, etc., used to equip a vessel.
Ecclesiastical. a piece of embroidery, usually oblong, on certain vestments, especially on the alb or amice.
verb (used with object), appareled, appareling or (especially British) apparelled, apparelling.
to dress or clothe.
to adorn; ornament.
Nautical. to equip (a vessel) with apparel.
Origin of apparel
1200-50; Middle English appareillen < Old French apareillier to make fit, fit out < Vulgar Latin *appariculāre, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + *paricul(us) a fit (see par1-cule1) + -ā- thematic vowel + -re infinitive suffix
Related forms
overappareled, adjective
unappareled, adjective
well-appareled, adjective
well-apparelled, adjective
1. clothes, dress, garb, costume, habiliments, vesture. 6. outfit, array, deck out. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for apparel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The peasants are poorly lodged, meagre in their looks, mean in their apparel, and remarkably dirty.

  • Mingling with the apparel were blankets, quilts, mattresses, pillows and babies.

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • The rest of their apparel was in keeping with it,—plain, substantial and well adapted for comfort, use and economy.

    Daniel Boone John S. C. Abbott
  • His death had made as little change in her apparel as in her general life.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • She thought this apparel oddly ugly, though the faces were not unattractive.

    Port O' Gold Louis John Stellman
British Dictionary definitions for apparel


something that covers or adorns, esp outer garments or clothing
(nautical) a vessel's gear and equipment
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
(archaic) (transitive) to clothe, adorn, etc
Word Origin
C13: from Old French apareillier to make ready, from Vulgar Latin appariculāre (unattested), from Latin apparāre, from parāre to prepare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for apparel

mid-13c., "to equip (in any way)," from Old French apareillier (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *appariculare. This is either from Latin apparare "prepare, make ready" (see apparatus), or from Vulgar Latin *ad-particulare "to put things together." The meaning "to attire in proper clothing" is from mid-14c. Cognate with Italian aparecchiare, Spanish aparejar, Portuguese aparelhar. Related: Appareled; apparelled; appareling; apparelling.


"personal outfit or attire," early 14c., also "ship's rigging," from Old French apareil "preparation," from apareillier (see apparel (v.)). Earlier in same sense was apparelment (early 14c.).


"personal outfit or attire," early 14c., also "ship's rigging," from Old French apareil "preparation," from apareillier (see apparel (v.)). Earlier in same sense was apparelment (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for apparel

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for apparel

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for apparel