often habiliments, early 15c., ablement, "munitions, weapons," from Old French habillement, abillement, from abiller "prepare or fit out," probably from abile, habile "fit, suitable," from Latin habilem, habilis "easily handled, apt," verbal adjective from habere "to hold" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive"). An alternative etymology [Barnhart, Klein] makes the French verb originally mean "reduce a tree by stripping off the branches," from a- "to" + bille "stick of wood." Sense of "clothing, dress" developed late 15c., by association with habit (n.).
updated on October 09, 2020
Dictionary entries near habiliment