Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The special dress or garb associated with an occasion or office. Often used in the plural: "shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave” ( Edgar Allan Poe).
  • n. Clothes.
  • n. Characteristic furnishings or equipment; trappings: surrounded by the habiliments of the television news industry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Clothes, especially clothing appropriate for someone's job, status, or to an occasion.
  • n. Equipment or furnishings characteristic of a place or being; trappings.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A garment; an article of clothing.
  • n. Dress, in general.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A garment; clothing: usually in the plural: as, the habiliments of war; fashionable habiliments.
  • n. A border, as of gold, pearls, etc., in ancient dress. See biliment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a covering designed to be worn on a person's body

Etymologies

Middle English habilement, from Old French habillement, from habiller, to clothe, alteration (influenced by habit, clothing) of abiller, to prepare, strip a tree of its branches : a-, toward (from Latin ad-; see ad-) + bille, log; see billet2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English habilement, from Old French habillement "to clothe". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She even wished to refuse him: – but Beech Park, the equipage, the servants, the bridal habiliment.

    Camilla

  • In the United Kingdom, as in other modern liberal democracies, there are few, if any, estrictions upon one's choice of habiliment.

    Two from Cox: Sumptuary Laws and Sovereignty

  • Britannia, or her genius in the usual habiliment, a scroll — she appeared seated and behind her a figure of Hercules, emblematic of the great work so completely and speedily performed: above Fame appeared with a medallion of his Lordship and in the background a perspective view of

    Projection, Patriotism, Surrogation: Handel in Calcutta

  • “Why, then,” said Dick, giving the head-band of his breeches a knowing hoist with one hand, and kicking out one foot behind him to accommodate the adjustment of that important habiliment, “I dares to say the pass will be kend weel eneugh on the road, an that be all.”

    The Heart of Mid-Lothian

  • Madame L'Espanaye and her daughter lived an exceedingly retired life — saw no company — seldom went out — had little use for numerous changes of habiliment.

    The Murders in the Rue Morgue

  • It was precisely that virile habiliment to which a well-known gallant captain alludes in his conversation with the posthumous appearance of Miss Bailey, as containing a Bank of England 5 pound note.

    Tales of all countries

  • As Vivaldi expressed his incredulity, however, he returned to examine the garment once more, when, as he raised it, he observed, what had before escaped his notice, black drapery mingled with the heap beneath; and, on lifting this also on the point of his sword, he perceived part of the habiliment of a monk!

    The Italian

  • Sure your lordship's habiliment desarves to be as immaculate as your lordship's character.

    A Dialogue for the Year 2130

  • And all this while they furnished them and garnished them of good men of arms, and victual, and of all manner of habiliment that pretendeth to the war, to avenge them for the battle of Bedegraine, as it telleth in the book of adventures following.

    Le Morte d'Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's book of King Arthur and of his noble knights of the Round table

  • He wore an old full-bottomed wig, the gift of some dandy old Brown whom he had valeted in the middle of last century, which habiliment Master Tom looked upon with considerable respect, not to say fear; and indeed his whole feeling towards Noah was strongly tainted with awe.

    Tom Brown's Schooldays

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Comments

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  • Habiliments sometimes refer to the adornments of non-human animals as manifested in the following passages.

    "The habiliments of the two forms of larks are more divergent than would appear at first blush. Above, the coloration of neglecta (the western) is paler and grayer than that of magna, the black markings being less conspicuous, and those on the tertials and middle tail-feathers being arranged in narrow, isolated bars, and not connected along the shaft" (Birds of the Rockies, Leander Sylvester Keyser, McClurg, 1902).

    "If there is anything shabby or deficient in the attire of a specimen, it is usually safe in spring to relegate it to the female persuasion, although in many cases the young males are condemned to wear the mean habiliments of the female until they have gained their glorious prerogatives (The Birds' Calendar, H. E. Parkhurst, 1894).

    May 20, 2012

  • Someones attire.

    December 14, 2010