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From Middle English warderobe, from Old Northern French warderoube, wardereube, northern variants of Old French garderobe, from garder (to keep safe) + robe. Subsequently influenced by various senses of garderobe as they developed in French. Doublet of garderobe.



wardrobe (plural wardrobes)

A Baroque wardrobe
  1. (obsolete) A room for keeping clothes and armor safe, particularly a dressing room or walk-in closet beside a bedroom.
  2. (figuratively) A governmental office or department in a monarchy which purchases, keeps, and cares for royal clothes.
  3. (figuratively) The building housing such a department.
  4. (obsolete) Any closet used for storing anything.
  5. A room for keeping costumes and other property safe at a theater; a prop room.
  6. (figuratively) The department of a theater, movie studio, etc which purchases, keeps, and cares for costumes; its staff; its room(s) or building(s).
  7. A movable cupboard or cabinet designed for storing clothes, particularly as a large piece of bedroom furniture.
  8. A tall built-in cupboard or closet for storing clothes, often including a rail for coat-hangers, and usually located in a bedroom.
  9. (figuratively, uncommon) Anything that similarly stores or houses something.
    • 1605, 1st Pt. Jeronimo:
      Now death... crams his store house to the top with bloud,
      Might I now and Andrea in one fight,
      Make vp thy wardroope
      Richer by a knight.
  10. The contents of a wardrobe: an individual's entire collection of clothing.
  11. (figuratively) Any collection of clothing.
  12. (figuratively, uncommon) Any collection of anything.
  13. (obsolete) A private chamber, particularly one used for sleeping or (euphemistic) urinating and defecating.
  14. (hunting, obsolete) Badger feces, particularly used in tracking game.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]


wardrobe (third-person singular simple present wardrobes, present participle wardrobing, simple past and past participle wardrobed)

  1. (intransitive) To act as a wardrobe department, to provide clothing or sets of clothes.
    • 1954 December 11, Billboard, page 20:
      [] impressed with the quality of the talent and production, good wardrobing and speedy pacing.
  2. Ordering a clothing item online and returning it for a refund after having worn it.
    • 2015, Adam Toporek, Be Your Customer's Hero, AMACOM, →ISBN, page 195:
      Wardrobing, the act of buying a nice piece of clothing, wearing it once, and returning it, is an $8.8 billion problem for the retail industry.
  3. Ordering multiple sizes of the same clothing item online and returning all but the one that fits best.
    • 2022 January 28, Katie Tarasov, “What really happens to Amazon returns”, in CNBC[1]:
      Wardrobing is where people will order the same thing in three different sizes to see which one fits and then they return the other two, not realizing that those other two most of the time don’t go back on that retailer’s shelves.


  • "wardrobe, n." in the Oxford English Dictionary (1921), Oxford: Oxford University Press.