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[fash-uh n] /ˈfæʃ ən/
a prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc.:
the latest fashion in dresses.
conventional usage in dress, manners, etc., especially of polite society, or conformity to it:
the dictates of fashion; to be out of fashion.
manner; way; mode:
in a warlike fashion.
the make or form of anything:
He liked the fashion of the simple, sturdy furniture.
a kind; sort:
All fashions of people make up the world.
Obsolete, workmanship.
Obsolete. act or process of making.
verb (used with object)
to give a particular shape or form to; make:
The cavemen fashioned tools from stones.
to accommodate; adjust; adapt:
doctrines fashioned to the varying hour.
Shipbuilding. to bend (a plate) without preheating.
Obsolete. to contrive; manage.
after / in a fashion, in some manner or other or to some extent; in a makeshift, unskillful, or unsatisfactory way:
He's an artist after a fashion.
Origin of fashion
1250-1300; Middle English facioun shape, manner < Anglo-French faço(u)n, façun, Old French faceon < Latin factiōn- (stem of factiō) a doing, company. See faction1
Related forms
fashionless, adjective
antifashion, noun, adjective
misfashion, noun
misfashioned, adjective
prefashion, verb (used with object), noun
prefashioned, adjective
refashion, verb (used with object)
transfashion, noun
unfashioned, adjective
well-fashioned, adjective
1. mode; fad, rage, craze. Fashion, style, vogue imply popularity or widespread acceptance of manners, customs, dress, etc. Fashion is that which characterizes or distinguishes the habits, manners, dress, etc., of a period or group: the fashions of the 18th century. Style is sometimes the equivalent of fashion, but also denotes conformance to a prevalent standard: to be in style; a chair in the Queen Anne style. Vogue suggests the temporary popularity of certain fashions: this year's vogue in popular music. 4. shape, cut, pattern, figure. 8. frame, construct, mold. 9. suit, fit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for after a fashion


  1. style in clothes, cosmetics, behaviour, etc, esp the latest or most admired style
  2. (as modifier): a fashion magazine
(modifier) (esp of accessories) designed to be in the current fashion, but not necessarily to last
  1. manner of performance; mode; way: in a striking fashion
  2. (in combination): crab-fashion
a way of life that revolves around the activities, dress, interests, etc, that are most fashionable
shape, appearance, or form
sort; kind; type
after a fashion, in a fashion
  1. in some manner, but not very well: I mended it, after a fashion
  2. of a low order; of a sort: he is a poet, after a fashion
after the fashion of, like; similar to
of fashion, of high social standing
verb (transitive)
to give a particular form to
to make suitable or fitting
(obsolete) to contrive; manage
Derived Forms
fashioner, noun
Word Origin
C13 facioun form, manner, from Old French faceon, from Latin factiō a making, from facere to make
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
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Word Origin and History for after a fashion



c.1300, "shape, manner, mode," from Old French façon (12c.) "face, appearance; construction, pattern, design; thing done; beauty; manner, characteristic feature," from Latin factionem (nominative factio) "group of people acting together," literally "a making or doing," from facere "to make" (see factitious).

Sense of "prevailing custom" is from late 15c.; that of "style of attire" is from 1520s.

To call a fashion wearable is the kiss of death. No new fashion worth its salt is wearable. [Eugenia Sheppard, "New York Herald Tribune," Jan. 13, 1960]
Fashion plate (1851) originally was "full-page picture in a popular magazine showing the prevailing or latest style of dress," in reference to the typographic "plate" from which it was printed. Transfered sense of "well-dressed person" had emerged by 1920s.


early 15c.; see fashion (n.). Related: Fashioned; fashioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with after a fashion

after a fashion

after a sort
. Somehow or other; not very well, as in
John can read music, after a fashion
, or
He managed to paint the house after a sort
. The first phrase, in which
means “a manner of doing something,” has been so used since the mid-1800s, when it replaced
in a fashion
. The variant dates from the mid-1500s. Also see
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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