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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.
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 lapels
  • Ideally, no one would ever visit a doctor or need a cup of coffee to feel ready to grab life by the lapels.
  • Both are wearing dark suits with stiff lapels, and the taller of the two is talking into a cell phone.
  • There is a lot of heavy breathing and grasping of the reader's lapels in his books.
  • Their fraternity pins are burning holes in their lapels.
  • They are wearing their lapels bare and their automobile bumpers uncovered.
  • She stepped back slightly, smoothed his lapels with long fingers.
  • The semiotics of lapels is becoming more complicated.
  • He's wearing an up-to-the-minute dark suit with high-peaked lapels over a pinpoint blue shirt and silver and navy patterned tie.
  • Members wore these insignia in their lapels, so they could be easily identified.
  • The sculptor has emphasized the frontal expanse of a torso framed by widely spaced lapels and squared off at the bottom.
British Dictionary definitions for lapels


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 lapels



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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