Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

paraphernalia

[par-uh-fer-neyl-yuh, -fuh-neyl-]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. (sometimes used with a singular verb) equipment, apparatus, or furnishing used in or necessary for a particular activity: a skier's paraphernalia.
  2. (used with a plural verb) personal belongings.
  3. (used with a singular verb) Law. the personal articles, apart from dower, reserved by law to a married woman.

Origin of paraphernalia

1470–80; < Medieval Latin paraphernālia (bona) a bride's goods, beyond her dowry, equivalent to Late Latin paraphern(a) a bride's property (< Greek parápherna, equivalent to para- para-1 + phern(ḗ) dowry, derivative of phérein to bear1 + -a neuter plural noun suffix) + Latin -ālia, noun use of neuter plural of -ālis -al1
Related formspar·a·pher·na·lian, par·a·pher·nal [par-uh-fur-nl] /ˌpær əˈfɜr nl/, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. appointments, appurtenances, accouterments, trappings. 2. effects.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for paraphernalias

paraphernalia

pl n (sometimes functioning as singular)
  1. miscellaneous articles or equipment
  2. law (formerly) articles of personal property given to a married woman by her husband before or during marriage and regarded in law as her possessions over which she has some measure of control

Word Origin

C17: via Medieval Latin from Latin parapherna personal property of a married woman, apart from her dowry, from Greek, from para- 1 + phernē dowry, from pherein to carry
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 paraphernalias

paraphernalia

n.

1650s, "a woman's property besides her dowry," from Medieval Latin paraphernalia (short for paraphernalia bona "paraphernal goods"), neuter plural of paraphernalis (adj.), from Late Latin parapherna "a woman's property besides her dowry," from Greek parapherna, neuter plural, from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + pherne "dowry," related to pherein "to carry" (see infer). Meaning "equipment, apparatus" is first attested 1791, from notion of odds and ends.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper