early 14c., "room where wearing apparel is kept," earlier "a private chamber" (c. 1300), from Old North French warderobe, wardereube (Old French garderobe) "dressing-room, place where garments are kept," from warder "to keep, guard" (from Proto-Germanic *wardon "to guard," from suffixed form of PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for") + robe "garment" (see robe (n.)). Meaning "a person's stock of clothes for wearing" is recorded from c. 1400. Sense of "movable closed cupboard for wearing apparel" is recorded from 1794. Meaning "room in which theatrical costumes are kept" is attested from 1711. Wardrobe malfunction is from 2004.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "perceive, watch out for."
It forms all or part of: Arcturus; avant-garde; award; aware; beware; Edward; ephor; garderobe; guard; hardware; irreverence; lord; panorama; pylorus; rearward; regard; revere; reverence; reverend; reward; software; steward; vanguard; ward; warden; warder; wardrobe; ware (n.) "manufactured goods, goods for sale;" ware (v.) "to take heed of, beware;" warehouse; wary.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin vereri "to observe with awe, revere, respect, fear;" Greek ouros "a guard, watchman," horan "to see;" Hittite werite- "to see;" Old English weard "a guarding, protection; watchman, sentry, keeper."
late 15c., pomendambre, "mix of aromatic herbs in a bag or perforated apple-shaped shell, carried or worn around the neck as a preservative against infection," from Old French pomme d'embre (13c.), from pome "apple" (from Latin pomum; see Pomona) + ambre "amber" (see amber). By mid-20c. the word was used for an orange stuck with cloves and hung in a wardrobe or placed in a drawer with clothing.