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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle French garbe (graceful outline) (Modern French galbe), from Italian garbo (grace, elegance), perhaps from Germanic (compare Old High German garwi, garawi (dress, equipment, preparation) and English gear), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *garwijaną (to prepare).


garb (countable and uncountable, plural garbs)

  1. Fashion, style of dressing oneself up. [from late 16thc.]
  2. A type of dress or clothing. [from early 17thc.]
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0108:
      This new-comer was a man who in any company would have seemed striking. [] Indeed, all his features were in large mold, like the man himself, as though he had come from a day when skin garments made the proper garb of men.
  3. (figuratively) A guise, external appearance.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      You thought, because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could not therefore handle an English cudgel.


garb (third-person singular simple present garbs, present participle garbing, simple past and past participle garbed)

  1. (transitive) To dress in garb.

Etymology 2[edit]

French gerbe; akin to German Garbe


garb (plural garbs)

  1. (heraldry) A wheat sheaf.
  2. A measure of arrows in the Middle Ages.
    • 1957, H. R. Schubert, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry, page 118.
      Yorkshire supplied 500 bows, and 580 garbs of arrows, 360 of which had iron heads pointed with steel.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.




From Proto-Slavic *gъrbъ, *gъrba


  • IPA(key): /ɡarp/
  • (file)


garb m inan

  1. a hump (rounded fleshy mass)
  2. a hump (deformity of the human back)


Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • garb in Polish dictionaries at PWN