Definition of paraphernalia in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌperəfərˈnālyə/


[treated as singular or plural]
1Miscellaneous articles, especially the equipment needed for a particular activity: drills, saws, and other paraphernalia necessary for home improvements drugs and drug paraphernalia that had been discovered on the premises
More example sentences
  • Drug paraphernalia and empty wine bottles lay strewn among layers of rotting food, dirty cardboard boxes and stinking blankets.
  • Around £2,000 cash was also found along with drug paraphernalia including scales and cutting boards.
  • A party ensued, with marquees blasting out music and a market area selling drugs and festival paraphernalia such as glow sticks.
equipment, stuff, things, apparatus, kit, implements, tools, utensils, material(s), appliances, accoutrements, appurtenances, odds and ends, bits and pieces
informal gear
1.1Trappings associated with a particular institution or activity that are regarded as superfluous: the rituals and paraphernalia of government
More example sentences
  • Though these comforts are the paraphernalia associated with aristocrats, priority for the same assumes a logic.
  • The basic paraphernalia associated with a Mumbai beachside is in the Temple City, albeit for a limited period.
  • At the focus of the pueblo was a large plaza in which was a great kiva flanked by rectangular rooms, possibly storerooms for food and ritual paraphernalia.


Mid 17th century (denoting property owned by a married woman): from medieval Latin, based on Greek parapherna 'property apart from a dowry', from para 'distinct from' + pherna (from phernē 'dowry').

  • Until the Married Women's Property Acts in the late 19th century a husband became the owner of all his wife's property when the couple married. A partial exception to this was her purely personal belongings such as clothes and jewellery, which she could keep after her husband's death. These were her paraphernalia—the word derives from Greek parapherna ‘property apart from a dowry’. Outside the strict confines of the law, the word came to refer to a person's bits and pieces in the mid 18th century, and then to the items needed for or associated with a particular activity.

Words that rhyme with paraphernalia

Australia, azalea, bacchanalia, Castalia, dahlia, echolalia, genitalia, inter alia, Lupercalia, Mahalia, marginalia, regalia, Saturnalia, Thalia, Westphalia

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: par·a·pher·na·lia

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