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epaulet

or ep·au·lette

[ep-uh-let, -lit, ep-uh-let]
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noun
  1. an ornamental shoulder piece worn on uniforms, chiefly by military officers.
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Origin of epaulet

1775–85; < French épaulette, equivalent to épaule shoulder (< Latin spatula blade; see spatula) + -ette -ette
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for epaulet

Historical Examples

  • He was now in an adjutant's uniform with one epaulet and a shoulder knot.

    War and Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

  • It was not the hero I admired, but the reflection from his epaulet or helmet.

  • The judges, he of the black robe and those of the epaulet, communed together.

    Tom Cringle's Log

    Michael Scott

  • The distance was too great, the wind too strong; he only carried away an epaulet.

  • Haven't I my epaulet on my shoulder, to let everybody know I'm an officer?

    Pencil Sketches

    Eliza Leslie


Word Origin and History for epaulet

n.

1783, from French épaulette (16c.), diminutive of épaule "shoulder," from Old French espaule (12c.), from Latin spatula "flat piece of wood, splint," later "shoulder blade," diminutive of spatha "broad wooden instrument, broad sword," from Greek spathe "a broad flat sword" (see spade (n.1)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper