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[gahrb] /gɑrb/
a fashion or mode of dress, especially of a distinctive, uniform kind:
in the garb of a monk.
wearing apparel; clothes.
outward appearance or form.
verb (used with object)
to dress; clothe.
1585-95; < Middle French garbe graceful outline < Old Italian garbo grace < Germanic; compare Old High German garawen, Old English gearwian to prepare, adorn (see gar2), gear
Related forms
garbless, adjective
undergarb, noun
ungarbed, adjective
1. style, cut. 2. clothing, dress, costume, attire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for garb
  • Buildings project their personalities, whether downtown or uptown, in the carefully chosen garb of the employees at the entrances.
  • Promising to be a prolonged spectacle, it was launched with a parade of scores of prominent reformists in prison garb.
  • Now segments of the garb pop out of the ring and snap into place as he moves.
  • And traditional garb is worn far more infrequently than contemporary urban labels.
  • And letting such profiteers in, under the garb of conservators, is a cause for alarm.
  • Booth babes in the garb of various games roam the crowded show floor.
  • He describes the garb as fashion for the no-collar workforce.
  • How a bred-for-bespoke fella pays for fancy garb without two dimes to rub together.
  • Or he must disguise his objectionable statement in a garb that seems harmless.
  • The attendees were mostly older people, in vaguely nautical garb, and they were in a mood to rumble.
British Dictionary definitions for garb


clothes, esp the distinctive attire of an occupation or profession clerical garb
style of dress; fashion
external appearance, covering, or attire
(transitive) to clothe or cover; attire
Derived Forms
garbless, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French garbe graceful contour, from Old Italian garbo grace, probably of Germanic origin
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 garb
1590s, "elegance, stylishness," from M.Fr. garbe "graceful outline," from It. garbo "grace, elegance," perhaps from Gmc. (cf. O.H.G. gar(a)wi "dress, equipment, preparation;" see gear). Sense of "fashion of dress" is first attested 1620s. The verb is from 1836. Related: Garbed.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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