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1590s, "elegance, stylishness," from Middle French garbe "graceful outline" (Modern French galbe), from Italian garbo "grace, elegance," perhaps from Germanic (cf. Old High German gar(a)wi "dress, equipment, preparation;" see gear). Sense of "fashion of dress" is first attested 1620s.
1836, from garb (n.). Related: Garbed; garbing.