noun (used with a plural verb)

articles of equipment or dress, especially of an ornamental character.
conventional adornment; characteristic signs: trappings of democracy.
Sometimes trapping. an ornamental covering for a horse; caparison.

Nearby words

  1. trappe, la,
  2. trappean,
  3. trapped,
  4. trapper,
  5. trapping,
  6. trappist,
  7. trappist cheese,
  8. trappists,
  9. trappy,
  10. traprock

Origin of trappings

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at trap2, -ing1, -s3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trappings

British Dictionary definitions for trappings


pl n

the accessories and adornments that characterize or symbolize a condition, office, etcthe visible trappings of success
a ceremonial harness for a horse or other animal, including bridles, saddles, etc

Word Origin for trappings

C16: from trap ²

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 trappings



"ornamental covering for a horse," late 14c., from Middle English trappe "cloth for a horse" (c.1300), later "personal effects" (mid-15c.), alteration of Middle French drap "cloth" (see drape (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper