AskDefine | Define haberdasher

Dictionary Definition

haberdasher n : a merchant who sells men's clothing [syn: clothier]

User Contributed Dictionary



Uncertain but may derive from Anglofrench habertas small goods


  1. A dealer in ribbons, buttons, thread, needles and similar sewing goods.
  2. A men's outfitter, usually a men's haberdasher.
  3. A member of the Haberdashers livery company.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

A haberdasher is a person who sells small, commonly used items of clothing via retail. These can include ribbons and buttons or completed accessories such as hats or gloves. A haberdasher's shop or the items sold therein are called haberdashery.
The exact definition of haberdasher depends on the locale. In the United States and Canada, it is primarily used for a person who sells men's clothing accessories. In the British Isles, this word is more commonly used to refer to someone who sells buttons, thread, ribbons, or drapery, but the term is much less common now, as fewer people make or mend their own clothing.
Today in Great Britain, Haberdashery shops are certainly a rare sight. However, KLEINS is an example of a long-established Traditional Specialist Haberdashery Business, that has been trading in London's Soho, since 1936. Also, John Lewis still offer a small selection of Haberdashery Products in some of their department stores.
Early usage of the term "haberdasher" refers to a retailer of many accessories, including swords, horns, mousetraps, and crucifixes.
The term may come from the Anglo-Norman word hapertas, meaning petty wares.

Notable haberdashers

haberdasher in Hebrew: סדקית
haberdasher in German: Herrenausstatter

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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