Meaning of epaulette in English:


Pronunciation /ˌɛpəˈlɛt/


(also US epaulet)
  • An ornamental shoulder piece on an item of clothing, especially on the coat or jacket of a military uniform.

    ‘an army greatcoat with fancy epaulettes and brass buttons’
    • ‘Look out for shirts with pockets, epaulettes - and especially shirt dresses, which will be making a strong statement this spring.’
    • ‘Or he would take apart a necklace and use it as an epaulet on the shoulder of a jacket so that the coat would be ‘covered with trinkets and madness.’’
    • ‘The cuffs were also of the same nature, as were the epaulettes on the shoulders of his military tunic.’
    • ‘Just over a year ago, a new uniform was adopted, replacing the former uniform with its epaulette and caps, which reflected the military origins of most of the judiciary.’
    • ‘Have you considered shoulder pads and epaulettes?’
    • ‘She wears a jacket with epaulettes and metal buttons.’
    • ‘I purchased a navy surplus coat, and it came with epaulets.’
    • ‘However there were no epaulettes, and no uniform trousers.’
    • ‘Their formidable presence, clad in gray uniforms with epaulettes and badges, and the silence pervading their stares, shattered a comfort barrier that held my mind in check and kept others from noticing a sign of personal distress.’
    • ‘The two dwarves were dressed in plain brown shirts and trousers of the same design, and they had gold epaulettes on their shoulders.’
    • ‘Military officials, meanwhile, looked as if they were heading for a parade, strutting around in uniform with gold epaulettes and medals on display.’
    • ‘I just wish the pilot wasn't wearing shiny black shoes, pressed black trousers, and a white, starched shirt with epaulettes that vaguely suggest a naval uniform.’
    • ‘She straightened one of the epaulettes on his shoulders that bore the four gold stripes of his rank.’
    • ‘The epaulettes on the choker tunic of his black naval uniform bore the four stripes of his rank.’
    • ‘After rising through the flying ranks to captain, he switched his epaulettes for a business suit to move into a corporate job with the airline.’
    • ‘Coats, jackets, and other garments became increasingly embellished during the 18th century as epaulettes, loops, lace, and aiguillettes all appeared.’
    • ‘The traditional blue trousers with blue or white shirts with epaulettes and ties made paramedics look more like police and were becoming impractical.’
    • ‘Wearing his military uniform, decorated with medals and gold epaulets, he looked fit, impressive, and self-assured.’
    • ‘He wore the ceremonial lavender Administrator robe with a gold collar and epaulets.’
    • ‘He was rushed to hospital where doctors found that the epaulette on his shirt had saved him from the worst of the wound.’


Late 18th century from French épaulette, diminutive of épaule ‘shoulder’, from Latin spatula in the late Latin sense ‘shoulder blade’.