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[gahrb] /gɑrb/
a fashion or mode of dress, especially of a distinctive, uniform kind:
in the garb of a monk.
wearing apparel; clothes.
outward appearance or form.
verb (used with object)
to dress; clothe.
Origin of garb
1585-95; < Middle French garbe graceful outline < Old Italian garbo grace < Germanic; compare Old High German garawen, Old English gearwian to prepare, adorn (see gar2), gear
Related forms
garbless, adjective
undergarb, noun
ungarbed, adjective
1. style, cut. 2. clothing, dress, costume, attire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for garb
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her garb was rustic, and her cheek pale; but there was an air of dignity and beauty, that hardly permitted the sentiment of pity.

    Frankenstein Mary W. Shelley
  • Let the Christian learn that benevolence is the garb in which religion is dressed.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
  • The “monstrum horrendum” of Poe was descending upon them in the garb which alone could fully typify the character of the man!

    Carmen Ariza Charles Francis Stocking
  • The very moment I saw him I determined to have his horse if he was in the garb of a traveler.

    The Story of the Outlaw Emerson Hough
  • The face was small and as white as the garb of the strange weird creature.

British Dictionary definitions for garb


clothes, esp the distinctive attire of an occupation or profession: clerical garb
style of dress; fashion
external appearance, covering, or attire
(transitive) to clothe or cover; attire
Derived Forms
garbless, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French garbe graceful contour, from Old Italian garbo grace, probably of Germanic origin
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
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Word Origin and History for garb

1590s, "elegance, stylishness," from Middle French garbe "graceful outline" (Modern French galbe), from Italian garbo "grace, elegance," perhaps from Germanic (cf. Old High German gar(a)wi "dress, equipment, preparation;" see gear). Sense of "fashion of dress" is first attested 1620s.


1836, from garb (n.). Related: Garbed; garbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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