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[stahyl] /staɪl/
a particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character:
the baroque style; The style of the house was too austere for their liking.
a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of action or manner of acting:
They do these things in a grand style.
a mode of living, as with respect to expense or display.
an elegant, fashionable, or luxurious mode of living:
to live in style.
a mode of fashion, as in dress, especially good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness.
the mode of expressing thought in writing or speaking by selecting and arranging words, considered with respect to clearness, effectiveness, euphony, or the like, that is characteristic of a group, period, person, personality, etc.:
to write in the style of Faulkner; a familiar style; a pompous, pedantic style.
those components or features of a literary composition that have to do with the form of expression rather than the content of the thought expressed:
His writing is all style and no substance.
manner or tone adopted in discourse or conversation:
a patronizing style of addressing others.
a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode or form of construction or execution in any art or work:
Her painting is beginning to show a personal style.
a descriptive or distinguishing appellation, especially a legal, official, or recognized title:
a firm trading under the style of Smith, Jones, & Co.
stylus (defs 1, 2).
the gnomon of a sundial.
a method of reckoning time.
Compare New Style, old style (def 2).
Zoology. a small, pointed process or part.
Botany. a narrow, usually cylindrical and more or less filiform extension of the pistil, which, when present, bears the stigma at its apex.
the rules or customs of typography, punctuation, spelling, and related matters used by a newspaper, magazine, publishing house, etc., or in a specific publication.
verb (used with object), styled, styling.
to call by a given title or appellation; denominate; name; call:
The pope is styled His or Your Holiness.
to design or arrange in accordance with a given or new style:
to style an evening dress; to style one's hair.
to bring into conformity with a specific style or give a specific style to:
Please style this manuscript.
verb (used without object), styled, styling.
to do decorative work with a style or stylus.
go out of style, to become unfashionable:
The jacket he's wearing went out of style ten years ago.
in style, fashionable.
Origin of style
1250-1300; Middle English (noun) < Latin stylus, spelling variant of stilus tool for writing, hence, written composition, style; see stylus
Related forms
styleless, adjective
stylelessness, noun
stylelike, adjective
antistyle, noun
counterstyle, noun
misstyle, verb, misstyled, misstyling.
restyle, verb, restyled, restyling.
unstyled, adjective
well-styled, adjective
Can be confused
stile, style.
2. method, approach. 5. chic. See fashion. 9. touch, characteristic, mark. 22. designate, address. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for styling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Reverence,” said I, “what do you mean by styling me reverence?

    Wild Wales George Borrow
  • Pepa was not far wrong in styling General Patio a carpet-knight.

    Froth Armando Palacio Valds
  • I crave pardon for not styling you: Monsieur le Ministre; I could not.

  • Urban received the archbishop magnificently, styling him the “pope and patriarch of another world,” and promising to help him.

  • But do you ever hear of us Catholics, or Dissenters, styling this an extraordinary movement on the part of the Queen?

    Two Addresses Nicholas Rigby
British Dictionary definitions for styling


a form of appearance, design, or production; type or make: a new style of house
the way in which something is done: good or bad style
the manner in which something is expressed or performed, considered as separate from its intrinsic content, meaning, etc
a distinctive, formal, or characteristic manner of expression in words, music, painting, etc
elegance or refinement of manners, dress, etc
prevailing fashion in dress, looks, etc
a fashionable or ostentatious mode of existence: to live in style
the particular mode of orthography, punctuation, design, etc, followed in a book, journal, etc, or in a printing or publishing house
(mainly Brit) the distinguishing title or form of address of a person or firm
(botany) the stalk of a carpel, bearing the stigma
(zoology) a slender pointed structure, such as the piercing mouthparts of certain insects
a method of expressing or calculating dates See Old Style, New Style
another word for stylus (sense 1)
the arm of a sundial
verb (mainly transitive)
to design, shape, or tailor: to style hair
to adapt or make suitable (for)
to make consistent or correct according to a printing or publishing style
to name or call; designate: to style a man a fool
(intransitive) to decorate objects using a style or stylus
Derived Forms
stylar, adjective
styler, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Latin stylus, stilus writing implement, hence characteristics of the writing, style
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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Contemporary definitions for styling

a display of one's good looks; looking good; also written stylin'


They are styling in their flip flops and ankle bracelets.

Usage Note

slang's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for styling



c.1300, stile, "designation, title, manner or mode of expression," from Old French estile "a stake, pale," from Latin stilus "stake, instrument for writing, manner of writing, mode of expression," from PIE *sti-lo-, from root *sti- "point, prick, pierce" (see stick (v.)). Spelling modified by influence of Greek stylos "pillar." Meaning "mode or fashion of life" is from 1770; that of "mode of dress" is from 1814.



1560s, "to give a name to," from style (n.). Meaning "to arrange in fashionable style" (especially of hair) is attested from 1934. Slang sense of "act or play in a showy way" is by 1974, U.S. Black slang. Related: Styled; styling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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styling in Science
The slender part of a flower pistil, extending from the ovary to the stigma. The pollen tube grows through the style delivering the pollen nuclei to the ovary. See more at flower, pollination.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for styling



To act or play in a showy, flamboyant way; hot dog, showboat: You got an A in physics! You're styling! (1970s+ Black)

Related Terms

cramp someone's style, dog fashion, like it's going out of style

[put on style, ''to act in a boastful way,'' is found by 1871]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with styling
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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