Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


or epaulette

[ep-uh-let, -lit, ep-uh-let] /ˈɛp əˌlɛt, -lɪt, ˌɛp əˈlɛt/
an ornamental shoulder piece worn on uniforms, chiefly by military officers.
Origin of epaulet
1775-85; < French épaulette, equivalent to épaule shoulder (< Latin spatula blade; see spatula) + -ette -ette Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for epaulette
Historical Examples
  • His face was black with powder, his clothes were torn, one epaulette was gone, the other hung dangling over his breast.

    The Adventures of Gerard Arthur Conan Doyle
  • It is not here, nor now, that I am going to tell why I wear the epaulette no longer.

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

    The Spy J. Fenimore Cooper
  • The ball struck the epaulette on his left shoulder, and penetrated his chest.

    The Death of Lord Nelson William Beatty
  • Malevola almost jumped out of her dog-skin when she saw the glitter of that epaulette.

    The Magic World Edith Nesbit
  • Their attitude varied in accordance with the number of stars they had on their epaulette.

    Fighting France Stephane Lauzanne
  • The epaulette upon his shoulder denoted that he was an officer; he was indeed second in command in the privateer.

  • They were made without sleeves, like a waistcoat, and an epaulette overhung the armhole.

    English Costume Dion Clayton Calthrop
  • My second epaulette did not reach me till 1830; then I took a little turn in Africa.

  • Spurning buttons, he aspired to the epaulette, and was appointed paymaster to the 7th Hussars.

British Dictionary definitions for epaulette


/ˈɛpəˌlɛt; -lɪt/
a piece of ornamental material on the shoulder of a garment, esp a military uniform
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for epaulette



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)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for epaulet

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for epaulette

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for epaulette