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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.



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.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      A canister of flour from the kitchen had been thrown at the looking-glass and lay like trampled snow over the remains of a decent blue suit with the lining ripped out which lay on top of the ruin of a plastic wardrobe.
  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, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. 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, p. 20:
      [] impressed with the quality of the talent and production, good wardrobing and speedy pacing.


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