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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The trappings of his horse were crimson and gold embroidered with pearls.

    The Silent Readers William D. Lewis
  • His sword-sheath, breastplate, and trappings were clear and bright.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • It was certainly not the exterior panoply and trappings of the church which attracted me, for of those I saw nothing.

    Overlooked Maurice Baring
  • Like Tom Sawyer, he loved the glare and trappings of leadership.

  • Beneath the pomp of his trappings, the fat, overfed body protruded grotesquely, and his movements were slow and clumsy.

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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