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[luh-pel] /ləˈpɛl/
either of the two parts of a garment folded back on the chest, especially a continuation of a coat collar.
Origin of lapel
1780-90; irregular diminutive of lap1; see -le
Related forms
lapelled, adjective
lapelless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lapel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She bent her head over the bunch of violets pinned on the lapel of her coat.

    The Little Colonel at Boarding-School Annie Fellows Johnston
  • He came up to Weiss and grasped him violently by the lapel of his coat.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • The manager was exquisitely dressed and wore a rose on the lapel of his coat.

    The Colossus Opie Read
  • She seized Mr. Pepper by the lapel of his Sunday coat and shook him.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Taking Shelton by the lapel, he drew him into the radius of the lamp, where he examined him, smiling a slow smile.

    The Island Pharisees John Galsworthy
British Dictionary definitions for lapel


the continuation of the turned or folded back collar on a suit coat, jacket, etc
Derived Forms
lapelled, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from lap1
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 lapel

1751 (implied in lapelled), from lap (n.) + -el, diminutive suffix. Cf. lappet.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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