[ep-uh-let, -lit, ep-uh-let]
an ornamental shoulder piece worn on uniforms, chiefly by military officers.
Also, epaulette.

1775–85; < French épaulette, equivalent to épaule shoulder (< Latin spatula blade; see spatula) + -ette -ette

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

1783, from Fr. épaulette, dim. of epaule "shoulder," from O.Fr. espaule, from L. spatula "flat piece of wood, splint," later "shoulder blade," dim. of spatha "broad wooden instrument, broad sword," from Gk. spathe "a broad flat sword" (see spade (1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He's got big hands and wore a fleece with southwestern-patterned epaulettes.
He had a tricornered hat, and red and white in his coat, and epaulettes on his shoulders.
Or, she reckons, swatches from a tattered leather jacket could double as chic epaulettes on a high-end used sweater.
Townsend with a beautiful sword, belt and epaulettes.
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