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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 epaulette

Historical Examples

  • It is not here, nor now, that I am going to tell why I wear the epaulette no longer.

    Maurice Tiernay Soldier of Fortune

    Charles James Lever

  • Wellmere fired, and the bullion flew from the epaulette of the trooper.

    The Spy

    J. Fenimore Cooper

  • I think they say, sir, she's gone to Colonel Epaulette's lodge.

    Fontainbleau

    John O'Keeffe

  • The ball struck the epaulette on his left shoulder, and penetrated his chest.

  • Their attitude varied in accordance with the number of stars they had on their epaulette.

    Fighting France

    Stephane Lauzanne


British Dictionary definitions for epaulette

epaulette

US epaulet

noun
  1. a piece of ornamental material on the shoulder of a garment, esp a military uniform
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Word Origin

C18: from French épaulette, from épaule shoulder, from Latin spatula shoulder blade; see spatula
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

Word Origin and History for epaulette

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