What does costume mean?

Definitions for costume
ˈkɒs tum, -tyum; kɒˈstum, -ˈstyumcos·tume

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word costume.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. costumenoun

    the attire worn in a play or at a fancy dress ball

    "he won the prize for best costume"

  2. costumenoun

    unusual or period attire not characteristic of or appropriate to the time and place

    "in spite of the heat he insisted on his woolen costume"

  3. costumenoun

    the prevalent fashion of dress (including accessories and hair style as well as garments)

  4. costumeverb

    the attire characteristic of a country or a time or a social class

    "he wore his national costume"

  5. costume, dress upverb

    dress in a costume

    "We dressed up for Halloween as pumpkins"

  6. costumeverb

    furnish with costumes; as for a film or play


  1. costumenoun

    A style of dress, including garments, accessories and hairstyle, especially as characteristic of a particular country, period or people.

    The dancer was wearing Highland costume.

  2. costumenoun

    An outfit or a disguise worn as fancy dress etc.

    We wore gorilla costumes to the party.

  3. costumenoun

    A set of clothes appropriate for a particular occasion or season.

    The bride wore a grey going-away costume.

  4. costumeverb

    To dress or adorn with a costume or appropriate garb.

  5. Etymology: From costume, from costuma, from costuma, ultimately, from consuetudo; see custom, which is a doublet of costume.


  1. Costume

    Costume is the distinctive style of dress or cosmetic of an individual or group that reflects class, gender, profession, ethnicity, nationality, activity or epoch. In short costume is a cultural visual of the people. The term also was traditionally used to describe typical appropriate clothing for certain activities, such as riding costume, swimming costume, dance costume, and evening costume. Appropriate and acceptable costume is subject to changes in fashion and local cultural norms. "But sable is worn more in carriages, lined with real lace over ivory satin, and worn over some smart costume suitable for an afternoon reception." A Woman's Letter from London (23 November 1899). This general usage has gradually been replaced by the terms "dress", "attire", "robes" or "wear" and usage of "costume" has become more limited to unusual or out-of-date clothing and to attire intended to evoke a change in identity, such as theatrical, Halloween, and mascot costumes. Before the advent of ready-to-wear apparel, clothing was made by hand. When made for commercial sale it was made, as late as the beginning of the 20th century, by "costumiers", often women who ran businesses that met the demand for complicated or intimate female costume, including millinery and corsetry.


  1. costume

    A costume is a set of clothes or attire worn by an individual that is intended to represent a specific character, profession, culture, or period. This can often be seen in theatrical performances, movies, parties, Halloween, and other events where dressing up as someone or something else is encouraged.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Costumenoun

    dress in general; esp., the distinctive style of dress of a people, class, or period

  2. Costumenoun

    such an arrangement of accessories, as in a picture, statue, poem, or play, as is appropriate to the time, place, or other circumstances represented or described

  3. Costumenoun

    a character dress, used at fancy balls or for dramatic purposes

  4. Etymology: [F. costume, It. costume custom, dress, fr. L. consuetumen (not found), for consuetudo custom. See Custom, and cf. Consuetude.]


  1. Costume

    The term costume can refer to wardrobe and dress in general, or to the distinctive style of dress of a particular people, class, or period. Costume may also refer to the artistic arrangement of accessories in a picture, statue, poem, or play, appropriate to the time, place, or other circumstances represented or described, or to a particular style of clothing worn to portray the wearer as a character or type of character other than their regular persona at a social event such as a masquerade, a fancy dress party or in an artistic theatrical performance.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Costume

    kos-tūm′, or kos′tūm, n. the manner of dressing prevalent at a particular period or place: dress, esp. a woman's dress.—v.t. to dress.—p.adj. Costumed′.—ns. Costum′er, Costum′ier, one who makes or deals in costumes. [Fr.,—It.,—Low L. costuma—L. consuetudo, custom.]

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'costume' in Nouns Frequency: #2747

How to pronounce costume?

How to say costume in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of costume in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of costume in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of costume in a Sentence

  1. Wesley D'Amico:

    It is the attitude that makes the hero, not the costume.”

  2. Emily Mitchell:

    It's sort of like putting a cow in a horse costume. It's still a cow.

  3. Los Angeles:

    I was completely in shock, when I saw someone else in a costume, my first reaction wasn't' Oh ! It's Alec Wells !' My reaction was' Oh ! Some other weirdo dressed up in the streets ! It's a Halloween miracle !' I figured it out pretty quickly, though, and when I did, I was so completely overwhelmed. It hit me that Alec Wells created an incredibly magical moment for me, and all because Alec Wells wanted to spend the rest of Alec Wells life with me.

  4. Ogden Nash:

    They take the paper and they read the headlines. So they've heard of unemployment and they've heard of bread-lines. And they philanthropically cure them all by getting up a costume charity ball.

  5. Limpsync:

    Singing is a little bit like the Halloween of emotions. It allows us to put on any costume we want; to become any character we need to express at any given moment; to instantly feel better and to do so in a way that is generally more publicly acceptable.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for costume

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"costume." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/costume>.

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