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1. Clothes considered as a group; wearing apparel.
2. A covering.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. garments collectively
2. something that covers or clothes
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkloʊ ðɪŋ)

1. garments collectively; clothes; raiment; apparel.
2. a covering.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


the cloth or clothing in which the dead are wrapped for burial or other form of funeral.
the art and practice of dressmaking and designing. — couturier, couturière, n.
showy articles of clothing; finery. — fallal, n.
clothes or garments, considered collectively.
finery or showy adornment, as in clothing.
clothing, especially for professional, ceremonial, or other special purposes.
the art and trade of designing and making women’s hats. — milliner, n.
1. clothes, collectively.
2. a particular outfit of clothes.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


 clothes, suits, etc., collectively, 1275.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. A little-girl-type sundress that was about as sexy as a paper bag —Dan Wakefield
  2. All dressed up like Christmas trees —Rosamund Pilcher
  3. A baggy blue flowered housedress that looked like old slipcovers —Louise Erdrich
  4. A bikini is like a barbed-wire fence. It protects the property without obstructing the view —Joey Adams
  5. Blouses thin as the film of tears in your eyes —Bin Ramke
  6. Clothes, pressed stiff as cardboard —Jay Parini
  7. Coat like a discarded doormat —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  8. A dark blue suit so rigidly correct that it looked like a uniform —Harvey Swados
  9. Draped in a muumuu that covered her like a Christo curtain shrouding a California mountain —Paul Kuttner
  10. Dressed all in brown, like a rabbit —Anon
  11. Dressed as if she were going to a coronation —Shelby Hearon
  12. Dressed in black jersey, without ornament, like a widow —Ross Macdonald
  13. Dressed like a bookie —Gavin Lyall
  14. Dressed like a Hollywood bit player hoping to be discovered leaning on a bar —Robert Campbell

    In his novel, In La-La Land We Trust, Campbell expands upon this simile for several sentences with details about the outfit.

  15. Dressed up like a dog’s dinner —American colloquialism

    This means to be overdressed, usually badly so.

  16. Dresses conservatively as a corpse —Harvey Swados
  17. (The Queen) dresses like a whistlestop town librarian —Stephen Longstreet
  18. Dresses like he’s got a charge at Woolworth’s —Robert B. Parker

    With names of stores, companies and products constantly changing, Woolworth’s may not always be synonymous with cheap; however, the simile could live on with an appropriate substitution.

  19. Dress … gone limp in the heat, like a wilted plant —Louise Erdrich
  20. A dress like ice-water —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  21. Dress that was as small as scarf —Laurie Colwin
  22. Fancy as a rooster up for the fair —Linda Hogan
  23. Garments as weathered as an old sail —George Eliot
  24. A girl who dressed like an Arabian bazaar —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  25. Her white silk robe flowed over her like a milk shower —Harold Adams
  26. He was dressed for this death-watch job [hotel desk clerk] as if for a lively party —Christopher Isherwood
  27. In her orange fringed poncho she looked like a large teepee —Michael Malone
  28. Ladies wrapped like mummies in shawls with bright flowers on them —Virginia Woolf
  29. Like her husband she carried clothes, carried them as a train carries passengers —Henry James
  30. Looks like she’s wearing her entire wardrobe all at once and all of it hand-me-downs from someone bigger than she is —Julie Salamon, describing appearance of character played by Debra Winger in the movie, Black Widow, Wall Street Journal, February 6, 1987
  31. A party frock sticking out all around her [a little girl’s] legs like a lampshade —Joyce Cary
  32. Peeled off his trousers like shucking corn —Rita Mae Brown
  33. Ragged as a scarecrow —Thomas Heywood
  34. Shirt [heavily patched] lays on his body like a ratty dishtowel —Carolyn Chute
  35. Skirts swirling like a child’s pennant caught in a stiff breeze —Tony Ardizzone
  36. Slickers [worn by cops] that shone like gun barrels —Raymond Chandler

    Raymond Chandler used this simile in his early days as a pulp magazine writer, (Killer in the Rain, Black Mask Magazine, 1935) and later in his novel, The Big Sleep.

  37. Starched clothes sat in the grass like white enameled teapots —Isaac Babel
  38. [Formal attire] suited them the way an apron suits a grizzly bear —William Mcllvanney
  39. Sweater as sopped as wet sheep —Susan Minot
  40. Tailored and bejeweled like a pampered gigolo —James Mills
  41. Tightly wrapped in a red skirt like a Christmas present —Helen Hudson
  42. Trousers pressed as sleek as a show dog’s flank —R. V. Cassill
  43. A wedding gown like a silver cloud —Mazo De La Roche
  44. A white robe, flowing, like spilled milk —Paige Mitchell
  45. Wide sleeves fluttering like wings —Marcel Proust
  46. Wore his clothes as if they were an official uniform —Vernon Scannell
  47. You wear your clothes as if you want to be helped out of them —W. P. Kinsella
  48. Zipped and buttoned into a polyester pantsuit, she was like a Christmas stocking half-filled with fruit —Mary Ward Brown
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



best bib and tucker Finery; Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes; glad rags. Though now applied to the dress of either sex, the phrase originally and properly described only that of women. Both items of clothing—bibs and tuckers—were lacy and frilly affairs worn about the bodice and neck in the 17th and 18th centuries.

brothel-creepers British slang for crepe-soled suede shoes. Such shoes were long associated in England with pimps, who were often seen to wear them. The term appeared in G. Smith’s Flaw in Crystal in 1954:

“Poncing about the place in those brothel-creepers of his!” … He always wore plush suede shoes.

glad rags One’s best or finest clothes; fancy or dressy clothes, especially formal evening dress; also glad clothes and glads. This self-evident American slang term has been in use since 1902. An equivalent but as yet unestablished slang term is heavy threads.

highwaters Unfashionably short trousers or slacks. This expression is derived from the humorous inference that one wearing blatantly short pants must be expecting a flood. Application of this phrase is obviously contingent upon the mandates of the fashion world.

monkey suit Formal clothes; a tuxedo; the full dress uniform of a serviceman, police officer, etc. This expression may be a modification of monkey jacket, a close-fitting coat formerly worn by sailors and similar in appearance to the stiff jacket worn by an organ-grinder’s monkey. The phrase maintains some contemporary usage.

I … demothed my monkey-suit and borrowed some proper shoes. (Dylan Thomas, Letters, 1950)

soup-and-fish A man’s formal clothing; a cutaway; white tie and tails. This term came to be jocularly applied to formal dress because soup and fish were so often served as the first courses of a formal dinner.

You will see more men informal than in soup and fish. (Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer, New York Confidential 1948)

Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes One’s best or finest clothes; also Sunday clothes, Sunday best, and Sunday-go-to-meetings. The term, in use since 1831, is an expansion of Sunday clothes, and refers to the days when most people wore their finery only on Sunday, which was reserved for churchgoing and visiting.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'clothes'

Clothes /kləʊðz/ are things you wear, such as shirts, trousers, dresses, and coats.

I took off all my clothes.

Be Careful!
There is no singular form of clothes. In formal English, you can talk about a garment, a piece of clothing, or an article of clothing, but in ordinary conversation, you usually name the piece of clothing you are talking about.

2. 'clothing'

Clothing /'kləʊðɪŋ/ is the clothes people wear. You often use clothing to talk about particular types of clothes, for example winter clothing or warm clothing. Clothing is an uncountable noun. Don't talk about 'clothings' or 'a clothing'.

Wear protective clothing.
Some locals offered food and clothing to the refugees.
3. 'cloth'

Cloth /klɒθ/ is fabric such as wool or cotton that is used for making such things as clothes.

I cut up strips of cotton cloth.
The women wove cloth for a living.

When cloth is used like this, it is an uncountable noun.

A cloth is a piece of fabric used for cleaning or dusting. The plural form of cloth is cloths, not 'clothes'.

Clean with a soft cloth dipped in warm soapy water.
Don't leave damp cloths in a cupboard.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend: - a covering designed to be worn on a person's bodyclothing - a covering designed to be worn on a person's body
accessory, accouterment, accoutrement - clothing that is worn or carried, but not part of your main clothing
apparel, clothes, wearing apparel, dress - clothing in general; "she was refined in her choice of apparel"; "he always bought his clothes at the same store"; "fastidious about his dress"
raiment, regalia, array - especially fine or decorative clothing
attire, garb, dress - clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion; "formal attire"; "battle dress"
beachwear - clothing to be worn at a beach
black - black clothing (worn as a sign of mourning); "the widow wore black"
blue - blue clothing; "she was wearing blue"
change - a different or fresh set of clothes; "she brought a change in her overnight bag"
civilian clothing, civilian dress, civilian garb, plain clothes - ordinary clothing as distinguished from uniforms, work clothes, clerical garb, etc.
consumer goods - goods (as food or clothing) intended for direct use or consumption
covering - an artifact that covers something else (usually to protect or shelter or conceal it)
drag - clothing that is conventionally worn by the opposite sex (especially women's clothing when worn by a man); "he went to the party dressed in drag"; "the waitresses looked like missionaries in drag"
footwear - clothing worn on a person's feet
garment - an article of clothing; "garments of the finest silk"
gray, grey - clothing that is a grey color; "he was dressed in grey"
hand wear, handwear - clothing for the hands
headdress, headgear - clothing for the head
knitwear - knitted clothing
leisure wear - informal clothing designed to be worn when you are relaxing
loungewear - clothing suitable for relaxation
man's clothing - clothing that is designed for men to wear
neckpiece - an article of apparel worn about the neck
nightclothes, nightwear, sleepwear - garments designed to be worn in bed
outerwear, overclothes - clothing for use outdoors
protective garment - clothing that is intended to protect the wearer from injury
ready-to-wear - ready-made clothing; "she couldn't find anything in ready-to-wear that she liked"
slip-on - an article of clothing (garment or shoe) that is easily slipped on or off
slops - cheap clothing (as formerly issued to sailors in Britain)
street clothes - ordinary clothing suitable for public appearances (as opposed to costumes or sports apparel or work clothes etc.)
tailor-made - custom-made clothing
duds, threads, togs - informal terms for clothing
uniform - clothing of distinctive design worn by members of a particular group as a means of identification
vestiture - an archaic term for clothing
wardrobe - collection of clothing belonging to one person
woman's clothing - clothing that is designed for women to wear
work-clothes, work-clothing - clothing worn for doing manual labor
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun clothes, wear, dress, gear (informal), habits, get-up (informal), outfit, costume, threads (slang), wardrobe, ensemble, garments, duds (informal), apparel, clobber (Brit. slang), attire, garb, togs (informal), vestments, glad rags (informal), raiment (archaic or poetic), rigout (informal) The refugees were given food, clothing and shelter. see coats and cloaks, dresses, hats, jackets, religion, shoes, skirts, socks and tights, suits, sweaters, ties and cravats, trousers and shorts, underwear
"The origins of clothing are not practical. They are mystical and erotic. The primitive man in the wolf-pelt was not keeping dry; he was saying: `Look what I killed. Aren't I the best?'" [Katherine Hamnett]
"The apparel oft proclaims the man" [William Shakespeare Hamlet]
"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society" [Mark Twain]
"Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes" [Henry David Thoreau Walden]


Articles of clothing  apron, baldric, basque, bathing suit, bathrobe, bib and brace, bikini, blouse, body, body stocking, bodysuit, boubou, braces or (U.S.) suspenders, bustier, cardigan or (informal) cardie or cardy, chapeau, chaps, chaparajos, or chaparejos, chausses, chuddah, chuddar, chudder, or chador, cilice, coat, coatee, codpiece, cummerbund or kummerbund, dolman, dress, dressing gown, dungarees, frock, galluses (dialect), gambeson, garter, gilet, gown, glove, haik, halter, hauberk, hose, housecoat, jacket, jerkin, jersey, jubbah, jumper, jump suit, jupon, kaftan or caftan, kameez, kanzu, kaross, kimono, kilt, kittel, leotard, loincloth or breechcloth, maillot, manteau, mantle (archaic), mitten, muff, negligee or negligée, nightdress, nightgown, or (Brit. informal) nightie, nightshirt, overall, overcoat, overskirt, oversleeve, paletot, pallium, pashmina, partlet, peignoir, plaid, pullover, pyjamas or (U.S.) pajamas, robe, rompers, sash, sanbenito, sari or saree, sarong, serape, shalwar, shawl, shift, shirt, shoe, shorts, skivvy (slang, chiefly U.S.), slop, smock, sock, sporran, surcoat, sweater, swimming costume, bathing costume, costume, or (Austral. informal) cossie, swimming trunks or trunks, swimsuit, tallit, tanga, tank top, thong, tie or (U.S.) necktie, tights or hose, toga, T-shirt or tee shirt, tunic, undergarment, waistcoat or (U.S. & Canad.) vest, wrap, wrapper, yashmak or yashmac
Parts of clothing  arm, armhole, armlet, bodice, buttonhole, collar, cuff, dicky, epaulette, flounce, gusset, hem, hemline, hood, jabot, lapel, leg, lining, neckline, patch pocket, pocket, seam, shawl collar, shoulder, sleeve, tail, train, waist, waistline, yoke
Types of clothing  academic dress, armour, baby clothes, beachwear, black tie, canonicals, civvies or civies, clericals, coordinates, coveralls, evening dress, fancy dress, fatigues, froufrou, Highland dress, hose, hosiery, knitwear, lingerie, livery, long-coats or (archaic) long clothes, millinery, morning dress, mufti, neckwear, nightclothes, nightwear, overgarments, sackcloth, samfoo, separates, skivvies (slang, chiefly U.S.), slops, sportswear, swaddling clothes, swimwear, undergarments, underthings, underwear, uniform, weepers, white tie, widow's weeds
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


Articles worn to cover the body:
apparel, attire, clothes, dress, garment (used in plural), habiliment (often used in plural), raiment.
Informal: dud (used in plural), tog (used in plural).
Slang: thread (used in plural).
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
مَلاَبِسمَلابِس، ألبِسَه، أغْطِيَه
odjevni predmeti
föt, fatnaîur
quần áo


A. Nropa f, vestimenta f
article of clothingprenda f de vestir
B. CPD clothing allowance Nextra m para ropa de trabajo
clothing industry Nindustria f textil
the clothing trade Nla industria de la confección
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈkləʊðɪŋ] nvêtements mpl, habits mplclotted cream [ˌklɒtɪdˈkriːm] n (British) sorte de crème très épaisse, typique du sud-ouest de l'Angleterre, souvent servie comme accompagnement de desserts ou gâteaux
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nKleidung f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈkləʊðɪŋ] nabbigliamento
article of clothing → capo di vestiario or di abbigliamento
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(kləuð) past tense past participle clothed verb
1. to provide with clothes. The widow did not have enough money to clothe her children.
2. to put clothes on. She was clothed in silk; She clothed herself in the most expensive materials.
clothes (kləuðz) , ((American) klouz) noun plural
1. things worn as coverings for various parts of the body. She wears beautiful clothes.
2. bedclothes. The child pulled the clothes up tightly.
ˈclothes-peg noun
(American clothespin) a plastic or wooden clip for fastening clothes to a clothesline.
ˈclothing noun
clothes. warm clothing.

there is no singular form for clothes.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مَلاَبِس oděvy tøj Bekleidung ρουχισμός confección, ropa vaatetus vêtements odjevni predmeti abbigliamento 衣類 의복 kleding klær odzież vestuário одежда klädsel เสื้อผ้า giyim quần áo 衣服
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


, clothing
n. ropa.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n ropa
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
As for Clothing, to come at once to the practical part of the question, perhaps we are led oftener by the love of novelty and a regard for the opinions of men, in procuring it, than by a true utility.
While one thick garment is, for most purposes, as good as three thin ones, and cheap clothing can be obtained at prices really to suit customers; while a thick coat can be bought for five dollars, which will last as many years, thick pantaloons for two dollars, cowhide boots for a dollar and a half a pair, a summer hat for a quarter of a dollar, and a winter cap for sixty-two and a half cents, or a better be made at home at a nominal cost, where is he so poor that, clad in such a suit, of his own earning, there will not be found wise men to do him reverence?
I requested likewise, "that the secret of my having a false covering to my body, might be known to none but himself, at least as long as my present clothing should last; for as to what the sorrel nag, his valet, had observed, his honour might command him to conceal it."
why he hath stolen every plack of clothing off my back, if that be a wrong, and hath left me here in this sorry frock of white falding, so that I have shame to go back to my wife, lest she think that I have donned her old kirtle.
Why do babies have such yards of unnecessary clothing? It is not a riddle.
Afterward they went back to the palace and slept in soft beds stuffed with feathers; for the foxes raised many fowl for food, and used their feathers for clothing and to sleep upon.
I had only a small, cheap satchel that contained a few articles of clothing I could get.
I waited for a few minutes, till I was sure that no passers-by could see me, and then crept under the sidewalk and lay for the night upon the ground, with my satchel of clothing for a pillow.
His outer clothing removed, the visitor then took a seat on the opposite side of the fire.
As soon as you take off any article of clothing fold it neatly and place it on the chair.
I had not a rag of clothing and knew nothing of my whereabouts, but all that night I traveled, cold and footsore, toward the north.
He thought in silence for a few moments, and then, with an exclamation of relief, he struck his palms together and turned toward his clothing upon the chair.