either of the two parts of a garment folded back on the chest, especially a continuation of a coat collar.

Origin of lapel

1780–90; irregular diminutive of lap1; see -le
Related formsla·pelled, adjectivela·pel·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lapel

Contemporary Examples of lapel

Historical Examples of lapel

  • He came up to Weiss and grasped him violently by the lapel of his coat.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

  • She seized Mr. Pepper by the lapel of his Sunday coat and shook him.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The man who had waked him grasped him by the lapel of his coat.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • He stopped short, and seizing the lapel of my coat, gave it a slight tug.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • She released his lapel and relapsed, all tears, upon her chair.

British Dictionary definitions for lapel



the continuation of the turned or folded back collar on a suit coat, jacket, etc
Derived Formslapelled, adjective

Word Origin for lapel

C18: from lap 1
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 lapel

1751 (implied in lapelled), from lap (n.) + -el, diminutive suffix. Cf. lappet.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper