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Knight on caparisoned steed


From Middle French caparaçon, from Old Spanish caparazón, from Old Occitan capairon.


caparison (plural caparisons)

  1. The often ornamental coverings for an animal, especially a horse or an elephant.
    • 1861, Charlotte Guest, The Mabinogion/The Dream of Rhonabwy:
      And the green of the caparison of the horse, and of his rider, was as green as the leaves of the fir-tree, and the yellow was as yellow as the blossom of the broom.
    • 2001, Walter A. Liedtke, Vermeer and the Delft School[1], page 520:
      That very year they received an order from Gustaf II Adolf of Sweden (1594-1632) for a large number of tapestries and four caparisons.
  2. Gay or rich clothing.
    • 1749, Tobias Smollett, The regicide:
      My heart groans beneath the gay caparison.



caparison (third-person singular simple present caparisons, present participle caparisoning, simple past and past participle caparisoned)

  1. To dress up a horse or elephant with ornamental coverings.
    • 1593, Shakespeare, Richard III, Act 5, Scene 3.
      Come, bustle, bustle; caparison my horse

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