AskDefine | Define armoire

Dictionary Definition

armoire n : a large wardrobe or cabinet; originally used for storing weapons

User Contributed Dictionary



From armoire.


  1. A type of cupboard, cabinet, or wardrobe - originally used for storing weapons.



  • lang=fr|/aʁ.mwaʁ/
  • SAMPA: /aR.mwaR/


From armarium.


fr-noun f /aʁ.mwaʁ/ /aʁ.mwaʁ/ f (plural armoires /aʁ.mwaʁ/)
  1. wardrobe (British), closet (US)
  2. cupboard

Extensive Definition

A wardrobe (sometimes called an "armoire") is a standing closet used for storing clothes. The earliest wardrobe was a chest, and it was not until some degree of luxury was attained in regal palaces and the castles of powerful nobles that separate accommodation was provided for the sumptuous apparel of the great. The name of wardrobe was then given to a room in which the wall-space was filled with cupboards and lockers, the drawer being a comparatively modern invention. From these cupboards and lockers the modern wardrobe, with its hanging spaces, sliding shelves and drawers, evolved slowly.


In the nineteenth century the wardrobe began to develop into its modern form, with a hanging cupboard at each side, a press in the upper part of the central portion and drawers below. As a rule it was often of mahogany, but as satinwood and other hitherto scarce finely grained foreign woods began to be obtainable in considerable quantities, many elaborately and even magnificently inlaid wardrobes were made.
Where Chippendale and his school had carved, Sheraton, Hepplewhite and their contemporaries achieved their effects by the artistic employment of deftly contrasted and highly polished woods.
The first step in the evolution of the wardrobe was taken when the central doors, which had previously enclosed merely the upper part, were carried to the floor, covering the drawers as well as the sliding shelves, and were often fitted with mirrors.

See also

armoire in German: Garderobe
armoire in Georgian: გარდერობი
armoire in Dutch: Garderobe
armoire in Portuguese: Guarda-roupas
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