See more synonyms for apparel on
  1. clothing, especially outerwear; garments; attire; raiment.
  2. anything that decorates or covers.
  3. superficial appearance; aspect; guise.
  4. Nautical. the masts, sails, anchor, etc., used to equip a vessel.
  5. Ecclesiastical. a piece of embroidery, usually oblong, on certain vestments, especially on the alb or amice.
verb (used with object), ap·par·eled, ap·par·el·ing or (especially British) ap·par·elled, ap·par·el·ling.
  1. to dress or clothe.
  2. to adorn; ornament.
  3. Nautical. to equip (a vessel) with apparel.

Origin of apparel

1200–50; Middle English appareillen < Old French apareillier to make fit, fit out < Vulgar Latin *appariculāre, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + *paricul(us) a fit (see par1 -cule1) + -ā- thematic vowel + -re infinitive suffix
Related formso·ver·ap·par·eled, adjectiveun·ap·par·eled, adjectivewell-ap·par·eled, adjectivewell-ap·par·elled, adjective

Synonyms for apparel

See more synonyms for on
1. clothes, dress, garb, costume, habiliments, vesture. 6. outfit, array, deck out. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for apparel

Contemporary Examples of apparel

Historical Examples of apparel

  • There was no forgetting the flamboyant brilliancy of her apparel.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Invention has no vacation so far as ladies' apparel is concerned.

  • His death had made as little change in her apparel as in her general life.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • In beauty of person and richness of apparel he was well worthy of the company of Valentina.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • Thorpe wondered if it would be possible to consult her upon the question of apparel.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for apparel


  1. something that covers or adorns, esp outer garments or clothing
  2. nautical a vessel's gear and equipment
verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled
  1. archaic (tr) to clothe, adorn, etc

Word Origin for apparel

C13: from Old French apareillier to make ready, from Vulgar Latin appariculāre (unattested), from Latin apparāre, from parāre to prepare
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 apparel

mid-13c., "to equip (in any way)," from Old French apareillier (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *appariculare. This is either from Latin apparare "prepare, make ready" (see apparatus), or from Vulgar Latin *ad-particulare "to put things together." The meaning "to attire in proper clothing" is from mid-14c. Cognate with Italian aparecchiare, Spanish aparejar, Portuguese aparelhar. Related: Appareled; apparelled; appareling; apparelling.


"personal outfit or attire," early 14c., also "ship's rigging," from Old French apareil "preparation," from apareillier (see apparel (v.)). Earlier in same sense was apparelment (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper