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[trap-ingz] /ˈtræp ɪŋz/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
articles of equipment or dress, especially of an ornamental character.
conventional adornment; characteristic signs:
trappings of democracy.
Sometimes, trapping. an ornamental covering for a horse; caparison.
Origin of trappings
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at trap2, -ing1, -s3
1. costume, raiment, attire, apparel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trappings
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His sword-sheath, breastplate, and trappings were clear and bright.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Nothing could exceed the beauty of their proportions and the splendour of their trappings.

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • Like Tom Sawyer, he loved the glare and trappings of leadership.

  • The trappings of horse soldiers are evidently made as noisy as possible.

    The Red Hand of Ulster George A. Birmingham
  • If they are not soldiers, why do they wear these trappings of the battle-field?

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
British Dictionary definitions for trappings


plural noun
the accessories and adornments that characterize or symbolize a condition, office, etc: the visible trappings of success
a ceremonial harness for a horse or other animal, including bridles, saddles, etc
Word Origin
C16: from trap²
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 trappings

"ornamental covering for a horse," late 14c., from Middle English trappe "cloth for a horse" (c.1300), later "personal effects" (mid-15c.), alteration of Middle French drap "cloth" (see drape (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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