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[liv-uh-ree, liv-ree] /ˈlɪv ə ri, ˈlɪv ri/
noun, plural liveries.
a distinctive uniform, badge, or device formerly provided by someone of rank or title for his retainers, as in time of war.
a uniform worn by servants.
distinctive attire worn by an official, a member of a company or guild, etc.
Also called livery company. British. a guild or company of the City of London entitled to wear such livery.
characteristic dress, garb, or outward appearance:
the green livery of summer.
the care, feeding, stabling, etc., of horses for pay.
a company that rents out automobiles, boats, etc.
Law. an ancient method of conveying a freehold by formal delivery of possession.
Origin of livery1
1250-1300; Middle English livere < Anglo-French, equivalent to Old French livree allowance (of food, clothing, etc.), noun use of feminine past participle of livrer to give over < Latin līberāre; see liberate


[liv-uh-ree] /ˈlɪv ə ri/
First recorded in 1770-80; liver1 + -y1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for livery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “He was left here by a man I think was this Tim Crapsey the paper spoke about,” announced the livery stable keeper.

    Dave Porter and His Double Edward Stratemeyer
  • A handsome servant in livery and a white cravat was standing by the door.

    Virgin Soil Ivan S. Turgenev
  • Little more than half a block north, on the former street, was a livery stable kept by Patrick Dinan.

    The Crime of the Century Henry M. Hunt
  • Each minister had his own carriage and attendants dressed in livery.

    A Portrait of Old George Town Grace Dunlop Ecker
  • If this were not a personal collar, it may have been a livery of Henry of Lancaster as earl of Derby.

    Heraldry for Craftsmen & Designers William Henry St. John Hope
  • A second man, also in the livery of the hotel, lay by a sofa.

    The Slave of Silence Fred M. White
British Dictionary definitions for livery


noun (pl) -eries
the identifying uniform, badge, etc, of a member of a guild or one of the servants of a feudal lord
a uniform worn by some menservants and chauffeurs
an individual or group that wears such a uniform
distinctive dress or outward appearance
  1. the stabling, keeping, or hiring out of horses for money
  2. (as modifier): a livery horse
at livery, being kept in a livery stable
(legal history) an ancient method of conveying freehold land
Word Origin
C14: via Anglo-French from Old French livrée allocation, from livrer to hand over, from Latin līberāre to set free


of or resembling liver
another word for liverish
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 livery

c.1300, "household allowance of any kind (food, provisions, clothing) to retainers or servants," from Anglo-French livere (late 13c.), Old French livrée, "allowance, ration, pay," originally "(clothes) delivered by a master to his retinue," from fem. past participle of livrer "to dispense, deliver, hand over," from Latin liberare (see liberate). The sense later was reduced to "servants' rations" and "provender for horses" (mid-15c.). The former led to the meaning "distinctive clothing given to servants" (early 14c.); the latter now is obsolete except in livery stable (1705). Related: Liveried.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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