Origin of livery

First recorded in 1770–80; liver1 + -y1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for most-livery


noun plural -eries
  1. the identifying uniform, badge, etc, of a member of a guild or one of the servants of a feudal lord
  2. a uniform worn by some menservants and chauffeurs
  3. an individual or group that wears such a uniform
  4. distinctive dress or outward appearance
    1. the stabling, keeping, or hiring out of horses for money
    2. (as modifier)a livery horse
  5. at livery being kept in a livery stable
  6. legal history an ancient method of conveying freehold land

Word Origin for livery

C14: via Anglo-French from Old French livrée allocation, from livrer to hand over, from Latin līberāre to set free


  1. of or resembling liver
  2. another word for liverish
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 most-livery



c.1300, "household allowance of any kind (food, provisions, clothing) to retainers or servants," from Anglo-French livere (late 13c.), Old French livrée, "allowance, ration, pay," originally "(clothes) delivered by a master to his retinue," from fem. past participle of livrer "to dispense, deliver, hand over," from Latin liberare (see liberate). The sense later was reduced to "servants' rations" and "provender for horses" (mid-15c.). The former led to the meaning "distinctive clothing given to servants" (early 14c.); the latter now is obsolete except in livery stable (1705). Related: Liveried.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper