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.

Origin of trappings

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at trap2, -ing1, -s3

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

Examples from the Web for trappings

Contemporary Examples of trappings

Historical Examples of trappings

  • His sword-sheath, breastplate, and trappings were clear and bright.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Nothing could exceed the beauty of their proportions and the splendour of their trappings.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • Like Tom Sawyer, he loved the glare and trappings of leadership.

  • The trappings of horse soldiers are evidently made as noisy as possible.

    The Red Hand of Ulster

    George A. Birmingham

  • If they are not soldiers, why do they wear these trappings of the battle-field?


    Henry Morford

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