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  • Noun




A soldier’s uniform generally includes several accoutrements or accessories in addition to the clothing itself: belt, weapon, communication device, etc. Originally a military term, the word accoutrement is now used to describe the extra gear of any specific activity or status. The accoutrements of wealth, for example, might include expensive cars or vacation homes; the accoutrements of a professional gymnast might involve a balance beam, the rings, chalk, and uniforms.

Quiz: What is an accoutrement?

  • An essential extra that belongs to a specific activity or state.
  • A unique form of travel gear.
  • Something extra that you don’t need.

Memory Hook

A Scooter Mint Those who ride scooters swallow nasty-tasting bugs. So they need to pack "scooter mints" for every ride.


  • This is an e-commerce site first and foremost, so the what-to-do sections go hand-in-hand with the what-to-buy — and the selection of cookware, appliances and other accoutrement can’t be beat. —TIME
  • The 2006 budget includes money for everything from new Sukhoi fighter jets to such prestige-enhancing items as lambskin hats for Russia’s generals, an accoutrement abandoned by Boris N. Yeltsin when he was president in leaner times, in 1993. —The New York Times

Word Ingredients

ac- to, towards
cout sew together
-ment quality, condition

An accoutrement is something that is specifically “sewn together towards or on behalf of” a particular activity that one does.

Word Theater

Stargate SG-1 The sleeping platforms don't need accoutrements since they adjust automatically to body temperature.

Word Constellation


Word Variants

accouterment n spelling variant of "accoutrement"