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From Anglo-Norman liveree, from Old French livree. Compare modern French livrée.



livery (plural liveries)

  1. Any distinctive identifying uniform worn by a group, such as the uniform worn by chauffeurs and male servants.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      “I don't know how you and the ‘head,’ as you call him, will get on, but I do know that if you call my duds a ‘livery’ again there'll be trouble. It's bad enough to go around togged out like a life saver on a drill day, but I can stand that 'cause I'm paid for it. What I won't stand is to have them togs called a livery. […]”
    • J. M. Bennett
      By wearing livery, the brewers publicly expressed guild association and solidarity.
  2. The paint scheme of a vehicle or fleet of vehicles.
    The airline's new livery received a mixed reaction from the press.
  3. (US) A taxicab or limousine.
  4. (law) The delivery of property from one owner to the next.
  5. (law) The writ by which property is obtained.
  6. (historical) The rental of horses or carriages; the rental of canoes; the care and/or boarding of horses for money.
    • Lowell
      Pegasus does not stand at livery even at the largest establishment in Moorfields.
  7. (historical) A stable that keeps horses or carriages for rental.
  8. An allowance of food; a ration, as given out to a family, to servants, to horses, etc.
    • Cavendish
      The emperor's officers every night went through the town from house to house whereat any English gentleman did repast or lodge, and served their liveries for all night: first, the officers brought into the house a cast of fine manchet [white bread], and of silver two great post, and white wine, and sugar.
  9. Release from wardship; deliverance.
    • Milton
      It concerned them first to sue out their livery from the unjust wardship of his encroaching prerogative.
  10. A low grade of wool.

Derived terms[edit]



livery (third-person singular simple present liveries, present participle liverying, simple past and past participle liveried)

  1. (archaic) To clothe.
    He liveried his servants in the most modest of clothing.


Alternative forms[edit]