Definitions

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

  • n. A shoulder ornament, especially a fringed strap worn on military uniforms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A decoration or flourish worn on the shoulders, as on a uniform.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A shoulder ornament or badge worn by military and naval officers, differences of rank being marked by some peculiar form or device, as a star, eagle, etc.; a shoulder knot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A shoulder-piece; an ornamental badge worn on the shoulder; specifically, a strap proceeding from the collar, and terminating on the shoulder in a disk, from which depends a fringe of cord, usually in bullion, but sometimes in worsted or other material, according to the rank of the wearer, etc.
  • n. The shoulder-piece in the armor of the fourteenth century, especially when small and fitting closely to the person, as compared with the large pauldron of later days.
  • n. The shoulder-covering of splints forming part of the light and close-fitting armor of the sixteenth century.
  • n. In dressmaking, an ornament for the shoulder, its form changing with the different fashions.
  • n. In entomology, the tegula or plate covering the base of the anterior wing in hymenopterous insects.

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

  • n. adornment consisting of an ornamental cloth pad worn on the shoulder

Etymologies

French épaulette, diminutive of épaule, shoulder, from Old French espaule, from Late Latin spatula, shoulder blade; see espalier.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • You can go with a standard, french or covered placket and contrast with some color or add in some shoulder elements (military/epaulet, double strip, fabric contrast) and play with some pocket options (single notch, double flap, fabric contrast).

    Wednesday Giveaway – Blank Label Custom Dress Shirt | Manolith

  • There is unit number on the epaulet but I can't make it out.

    Thursday Night Art Class

  • The buff linings of the turned-back cuffs extended a good six inches up the sleeve, and a small coil of gold braid gleamed from one epaulet.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • At every appearance, her new baby was hanging on her shoulder like it was an epaulet.

    Robert J. Elisberg: Sarah and Bristol Palin: One Child Left Behind

  • But now it turns out that on the other epaulet was perched the principled figure of Taylor Branch, not at all claiming to be a harp-strummer himself but insistently reminding his old friend that there were better angels in politics and humanity whose claims should not be scorned.

    What Was Bill Thinking?

  • Fresh from wardrobe, Ralph ridiculously sports a blue and gold epaulet costume and long leather whip.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.

    Click to enlarge.

  • As soon as he found it, health, strength, spirits, energy, returned to him, and with the tap of the epaulet on his shoulder he sprang up an altered being.

    The Virginians

  • The father would bring him sweetmeats from the dessert and hide them in a certain old epaulet box, where the child went to seek them, and laughed with joy on discovering the treasure; laughed, but not too loud: for mamma was below asleep and must not be disturbed.

    Vanity Fair

  • The other, a gray-haired female wearing a captain's epaulet on her uniform, had no mouth, nor was the rest of her face a pretty sight.

    First Warning

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