Definition of trappings in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtrapɪŋz/

plural noun

1The outward signs, features, or objects associated with a particular situation, role, or job: I had the trappings of success
More example sentences
  • Have you ever wanted to live in a rural setting, yet enjoy all trappings associated with living in the heart of the town?
  • I've spent the last few years acquiring the trappings and signs of the middle class.
  • However, it lacks most of the trappings usually associated with the genre.
accessories, trimmings, frills, accompaniments, extras, ornaments, ornamentation, adornment, decoration;
regalia, paraphernalia, apparatus, finery, frippery, livery, fittings, accoutrements;
archaic trumpery
2A horse’s ornamental harness.
Example sentences
  • It also includes used animal trappings such as harnesses, saddles, halters, reins, rope and chain.
  • Founded in Seville in 1892, El Caballo is a manufacturer of harnesses and leather trappings.
  • We freed the horses from their trappings, and I went about setting up our camp.


Late Middle English: derivative of trap2.

  • Animal traps (Old English) have nothing to do with trappings, which go back to Latin drappus ‘cloth’, the source of draper, drab [M16] originally undyed cloth, and drapery (Late Middle English). In the 14th century trappings were an ornamental harness for a horse, but now people more often use the word in contexts such as ‘the trappings of success’ for the outwards signs or objects associated with a particular role or job.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words