From Middle French fourniture (“a supply, or the act of furnishing”), from fournir (“to furnish”).
furniture (usually uncountable, plural furnitures)
- (now usually uncountable) Large movable item(s), usually in a room, which enhance(s) the room's characteristics, functionally or decoratively.
- The woman does not even have one stick of furniture moved in yet.
- How much furniture did they leave behind?
- A chair is furniture. Sofas are also furniture.
- They bought a couple of pieces of furniture.
- Your furniture is beautiful.
- 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter I, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, →OCLC:
- Three chairs of the steamer type, all maimed, comprised the furniture of this roof-garden, with (by way of local colour) on one of the copings a row of four red clay flower-pots filled with sun-baked dust […].
- 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 1, in Death on the Centre Court:
- She mixed furniture with the same fatal profligacy as she mixed drinks, and this outrageous contact between things which were intended by Nature to be kept poles apart gave her an inexpressible thrill.
- 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess:
- The huge square box, parquet-floored and high-ceilinged, had been arranged to display a suite of bedroom furniture designed and made in the halcyon days of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, […].
- The harness, trappings etc. of a horse, hawk, or other animal.
- 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 42, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes […], book I, London: […] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], →OCLC:
- We commend a horse because he is strong and nimble, […] and not for his furniture: a greyhound for his swiftnesse, not for his collar: a hawke for her wing, not for her cranes or bells.
- 1934, George Cameron Stone, A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor, →ISBN:
- Amongst the rich this part of a hawk's furniture is ornamented with embroidery, handsome silver aigrettes, tassels and other decorations.
- 2002, Ronald Pawly, Wellington's Dutch Allies 1815, →ISBN, page 19:
- Horse furniture included a white sheepskin with red ‘wolf's teeth’; blue shabraque with yellow edging and royal cypher; blue valise with yellow edging.
- Fittings, such as handles, of a door, coffin, or other wooden item.
- 1994, Philip Haythornthwaite, British Cavalryman 1792-1815, →ISBN, page 30:
- […] a new universal pistol, one to be carried by each man, with a 9-inch barrel of musket-bore and an iron ramrod carried in the holster; the furniture was reduced to just a brass trigger guard (no butt-plate), and some were fitted with Nock's lock.
- (obsolete) An accompanying enhancing feature, or features collectively; embellishment, decoration, trimming.
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], 2nd edition, part 1, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
- A Scythian Shepherd, so imbelliſhed
With Natures pride, and richeſt furniture?
His looks do menace heauen & dare the Gods,
His fiery eies are fixt vpon the earth.
- (firearms) The stock and forearm of a weapon.
- (printing, historical) The pieces of wood or metal put round pages of type to make proper margins and fill the spaces between the pages and the chase.
- (journalism) Any material on the page other than the body text and pictures of articles; for example, headlines, datelines and dinkuses, lines and symbols (though in earlier use, only non-text elements of page design, such as lines and symbols).
- 2023 January 31, Elisabeth Ribbans, “The perils of using journalist jargon outside the newsroom”, in The Guardian:
- It read: “This article was amended on 3 January 2023. The original furniture said the fireworks display was on Christmas Eve.”
- (music) A type of mixture organ stop.
- (archaic) Draped coverings and hangings; bedsheets, tablecloths, tapestries, etc.
- (obsolete) Clothing with which a person is furnished; apparel, outfit.
- (obsolete) Arms and armor, equipment of war.
- (archaic) Equipment for work, apparatus, tools, instruments.
- (obsolete, in the plural) Condiments of a salad.
- (obsolete) Stock, supply, stores, provisions.
- (obsolete) Contents; that with which something is filled or stocked.
- (bookselling) Impressive-looking books used for filling out the collection of a private library.
- (obsolete) The action of furnishing or supplying.
- (obsolete) The condition of being equipped, prepared, or mentally cultivated.
- Before the end of the nineteenth century, the plural furnitures existed in Standard English in both the U.S. and the U.K.; during the twentieth century, however, it ceased to be used by native speakers.
- A single item of furniture, such as a chair or a table, is often called a piece of furniture.
- In many languages "piece of furniture" is one word, and often its plural form is the equivalent of the English "furniture", for example French meuble / meubles.
- See also Thesaurus:furniture
Terms derived from furniture
- angels moving the furniture
- federation furniture
- furniture beetle
- furniture music
- gun furniture
- move furniture
- nomadic furniture
- occasional furniture
- part of the furniture
- piece of furniture
- pistol furniture
- road furniture
- save the furniture
- stick of furniture
- street furniture
- traffic furniture
- urban furniture
- utility furniture
large movable items
harness, trappings etc. of an animal
- “furniture”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “furniture”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.