a fashion or mode of dress, especially of a distinctive, uniform kind: in the garb of a monk.
wearing apparel; clothes.
outward appearance or form.

verb (used with object)

to dress; clothe.

Origin of garb

1585–95; < Middle French garbe graceful outline < Old Italian garbo grace < Germanic; compare Old High German garawen, Old English gearwian to prepare, adorn (see gar2), gear
Related formsgarb·less, adjectiveun·der·garb, nounun·garbed, adjective

Synonyms for garb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for garb

Contemporary Examples of garb

Historical Examples of garb

  • The lover took his garb, and he took the letters; and he hastened hither.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Here spoke the true spirit of the gentleman, though he was but in the garb of a peasant.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Their name, their garb, and work did so intoxicate and bewitch me.'


    James Anthony Froude

  • He is a Jesuit by his garb; he is much more so than they are by his 'savoir-vivre'.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete

    Madame La Marquise De Montespan

  • Was she not ever before them in the garb of purity and love!

    The Elm Tree Tales

    F. Irene Burge Smith

British Dictionary definitions for garb



clothes, esp the distinctive attire of an occupation or professionclerical garb
style of dress; fashion
external appearance, covering, or attire


(tr) to clothe or cover; attire
Derived Formsgarbless, adjective

Word Origin for garb

C16: from Old French garbe graceful contour, from Old Italian garbo grace, probably of Germanic origin
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 garb

1590s, "elegance, stylishness," from Middle French garbe "graceful outline" (Modern French galbe), from Italian garbo "grace, elegance," perhaps from Germanic (cf. Old High German gar(a)wi "dress, equipment, preparation;" see gear). Sense of "fashion of dress" is first attested 1620s.


1836, from garb (n.). Related: Garbed; garbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper