1. clothing, especially outerwear; garments; attire; raiment.
  2. anything that decorates or covers.
  3. superficial appearance; aspect; guise.
  4. Nautical. the masts, sails, anchor, etc., used to equip a vessel.
  5. Ecclesiastical. a piece of embroidery, usually oblong, on certain vestments, especially on the alb or amice.

verb (used with object), ap·par·eled, ap·par·el·ing or (especially British) ap·par·elled, ap·par·el·ling.

  1. to dress or clothe.
  2. to adorn; ornament.
  3. Nautical. to equip (a vessel) with apparel.


  1. something that covers or adorns, esp outer garments or clothing
  2. nautical a vessel’s gear and equipment

verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

  1. archaic (tr) to clothe, adorn, etc

mid-13c., “to equip (in any way),” from Old French apareillier (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *appariculare. This is either from Latin apparare “prepare, make ready” (see apparatus), or from Vulgar Latin *ad-particulare “to put things together.” The meaning “to attire in proper clothing” is from mid-14c. Cognate with Italian aparecchiare, Spanish aparejar, Portuguese aparelhar. Related: Appareled; apparelled; appareling; apparelling.


“personal outfit or attire,” early 14c., also “ship’s rigging,” from Old French apareil “preparation,” from apareillier (see apparel (v.)). Earlier in same sense was apparelment (early 14c.).

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