• WordNet 3.6
    • n epaulette adornment consisting of an ornamental cloth pad worn on the shoulder
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Epaulette (Mil) A shoulder ornament or badge worn by military and naval officers, differences of rank being marked by some peculiar form or device, as a star, eagle, etc.; a shoulder knot.☞ In the United States service the epaulet is reserved for full dress uniform. Its use was abolished in the British army in 1855.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Epaulette a shoulder-piece: a badge of a military or naval officer (now disused in the British army): an ornament on the shoulder of a lady's dress.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. épaulette, dim. of épaule, shoulder, fr. L. spatula, a broad piece (LL., shoulder), dim. of spatha, abroad, flat instrument, fr. Gr. , also, a broad rib, shoulder blade. See Spade the instrument, and cf. Epaule Spatula
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. épauletteépaule, the shoulder.


In literature:

He wore a large pair of epaulettes; he was irritable in his temper; and when roused, which was frequent, was always violent and overbearing.
"Frank Mildmay" by Captain Frederick Marryat
I expect we both had our share of it before we got our epaulettes.
"At Aboukir and Acre" by George Alfred Henty
They had stripped Sir John of epaulettes, sword, and boots.
"Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands" by Mary Seacole
Epaulettes must not be seen glancing through the windows of their drawing-rooms!
"The War Trail" by Mayne Reid
There was this difference between them, however, that the wakeful man wore brass epaulettes on his shoulders.
"The Thorogood Family" by R.M. Ballantyne
The rank of officers was now distinguished by epaulettes.
"How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves" by W.H.G. Kingston
I can no longer serve under your orders, without disgracing my epaulettes.
"Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. II" by Pierre Antoine Edouard Fleury de Chaboulon
The sound of bullets on breastplates and helmets and epaulettes is like a shower of hailstones upon a sheet of metal.
"The Bronze Eagle" by Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
By GORDON STABLES, M. D., R. N., author of "Every Inch a Sailor," "How Jack McKenzie Won His Epaulettes," etc.
"Children's Books and Their Illustrators" by Gleeson White
Malevola almost jumped out of her dog-skin when she saw the glitter of that epaulette.
"The Magic World" by Edith Nesbit
Two officers' swords and a pair of epaulettes were on the cabin table.
"If, Yes and Perhaps" by Edward Everett Hale
Their gold epaulettes seem to go well with the organ.
"Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875" by Various
Isn't it possible for a man to do his duty unless he has a pair of epaulettes on his shoulders?
"Soldiers of the Queen" by Harold Avery
Forests of arms are quivering in the plain; I tread upon a field of epaulettes.
"L'Aiglon" by Edmond Rostand
He said soldiers were vagrants, and his aversion to all uniforms and epaulettes was extreme.
"The Grandee" by Armando Palacio Valdés
Monsieur," continued he, turning towards me, "to-morrow you shall have your epaulettes.
"Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume I (of II)" by Charles James Lever
The epaulette was noblesse; the shako, a coronet.
"Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume II (of II)" by Charles James Lever
It was a simple uniform of blue and white, with a single silver epaulette, and a sword, hilted with the same metal.
"The O'Donoghue Tale Of Ireland Fifty Years Ago" by Charles James Lever
It is not here, nor now, that I am going to tell why I wear the epaulette no longer.
"Maurice Tiernay Soldier of Fortune" by Charles James Lever
We are born with our epaulettes, and we must wear them till we die.
"The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly" by Charles James Lever

In poetry:

'All at once the thud of horses' hoofs was heard along the street; the
commander-in-chief was riding by with his staff. He was riding at a walking
pace, a stout, corpulent man, with drooping head, and epaulettes hanging on
his breast.
"Hang Him!" by Ivan Turgenev