[kos-too-ming, -tyoo-]


material for costumes.
costumes collectively.
the act of furnishing or designing costumes.

Origin of costuming

First recorded in 1855–60; costume + -ing1


[noun kos-toom, -tyoom; verb ko-stoom, -styoom]


a style of dress, including accessories and hairdos, especially that peculiar to a nation, region, group, or historical period.
dress or garb characteristic of another period, place, person, etc., as worn on the stage or at balls.
fashion of dress appropriate to a particular occasion or season: dancing costume; winter costume.
a set of garments, especially women's garments, selected for wear at a single time; outfit; ensemble.

verb (used with object), cos·tumed, cos·tum·ing.

to dress; furnish with a costume; provide appropriate dress for: to costume a play.


of or characterized by the wearing of costumes: a costume party.
meant for use with or appropriate to a specific costume: costume accessories.

Origin of costume

1705–15; < French < Italian: usage, habit, dress; doublet of custom
Related formsre·cos·tume, verb (used with object), re·cos·tumed, re·cos·tum·ing.un·cos·tumed, adjectivewell-cos·tumed, adjective

Synonym study

1. See dress. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for costuming

Contemporary Examples of costuming

Historical Examples of costuming

  • Learn the art of costuming yourself for your part, and learn the art of makeup.

  • This indeed did not consume much time, for my costuming was scant.


    Robert R. (Robert Rice) Reynolds

  • The costuming, if any is needed, is to be done by pupils and teacher.

  • Incidentally, the costuming—as you may see from contemporary cuts—was a nightmare.


    Albert Payson Terhune

  • We can have groups, and friezes, and scenes; the costuming has infinite possibilities.

    Cinderella Jane

    Marjorie Benton Cooke

British Dictionary definitions for costuming



a complete style of dressing, including all the clothes, accessories, etc, worn at one time, as in a particular country or period; dressnational costume
old-fashioned a woman's suit
a set of clothes, esp unusual or period clothes, worn in a play by an actor or at a fancy dress balla jester's costume

verb (tr)

to furnish the costumes for (a show, film, etc)
to dress (someone) in a costume

Word Origin for costume

C18: from French, from Italian: dress, habit, custom
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 costuming



1715, "style of dress," an art term, from French costume (17c.), from Italian costume "fashion, habit," from Latin consuetudinem (nominative consuetudo) "custom, habit, usage." Essentially the same word as custom but arriving by a different etymology. From "customary clothes of the particular period in which the scene is laid," meaning broadened by 1818 to "any defined mode of dress." Costume jewelry is first attested 1933.



1823, from costume (n.). Related: Costumed; costuming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper