or ep·au·lette

[ep-uh-let, -lit, ep-uh-let]


an ornamental shoulder piece worn on uniforms, chiefly by military officers.

Nearby words

  1. epanaphora,
  2. epanodos,
  3. epanorthosis,
  4. eparch,
  5. eparchy,
  6. epaulette,
  7. epaulette tree,
  8. epaxial,
  9. epazote,
  10. epee

Origin of epaulet

1775–85; < French épaulette, equivalent to épaule shoulder (< Latin spatula blade; see spatula) + -ette -ette

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for epaulette

British Dictionary definitions for epaulette


US epaulet


a piece of ornamental material on the shoulder of a garment, esp a military uniform

Word Origin for epaulette

C18: from French épaulette, from épaule shoulder, from Latin spatula shoulder blade; see spatula

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 epaulette



1783, from French épaulette (16c.), diminutive of épaule "shoulder," from Old French espaule (12c.), from Latin spatula "flat piece of wood, splint," later "shoulder blade," diminutive of spatha "broad wooden instrument, broad sword," from Greek spathe "a broad flat sword" (see spade (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper