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[trap-ingz] /ˈtræp ɪŋz/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
articles of equipment or dress, especially of an ornamental character.
conventional adornment; characteristic signs:
trappings of democracy.
Sometimes, trapping. an ornamental covering for a horse; caparison.
Origin of trappings
1350-1400; Middle English; see trap2, -ing1, -s3
1. costume, raiment, attire, apparel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for trappings
  • As a result, what has all the trappings of a patriarchal culture, actually has many elements of a matriarchal one.
  • Journalism is a noble trade that only fairly recently adapted the trappings of a profession.
  • So even though they've got all the trappings of communication, you don't actually find communication.
  • Not only are the fancy trappings required of a three-star restaurant too expensive now but probably irrelevant as well.
  • As his career had taken off, he had grown increasingly uneasy with the trappings of success.
  • The area is rich in all the outward trappings of democracy.
  • The fact that money has found a way to rule via the trappings of such supposedly different political system is not a big surprise.
  • So do the trappings of fame, which don't change sufficiently to give the book much momentum.
  • He did not take to the trappings of power, choosing to live in a modest home in the country.
  • Some swindlers surround themselves with the trappings of legitimacy, including professionally designed color brochures.
British Dictionary definitions for trappings


plural noun
the accessories and adornments that characterize or symbolize a condition, office, etc: the visible trappings of success
a ceremonial harness for a horse or other animal, including bridles, saddles, etc
Word Origin
C16: from trap²
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 trappings

"ornamental covering for a horse," late 14c., from Middle English trappe "cloth for a horse" (c.1300), later "personal effects" (mid-15c.), alteration of Middle French drap "cloth" (see drape (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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