One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A special uniform worn by a servant, an official, or a member of a City Company.‘yeomen of the guard wearing a royal red and gold livery’mass noun ‘pageboys in scarlet and green livery’
uniform, regalia, costume, dress, attire, habit, garb, clothes, clothing, outfit, suit, garments, ensemble, robes, fineryView synonyms
- ‘A footman dressed in the burgundy livery of the Ayeleborough house was waiting for us at the train station.’
- ‘White trousers, sleeveless blue jacket and blue cap form part of the livery.’
- ‘The whole ensemble was a uniform: no less so than the livery of the footmen or the tunics of the Guard, but merely heavier and more cumbersome.’
- ‘Servants wove their way through the crowd, dressed in the palace livery and offering refreshments on platters.’
- ‘She looked around for any sign of Jane or Anne, but the only person there was a page in scarlet livery.’
- ‘‘Good afternoon,’ said a servant arrayed in the duke's navy-and-silver livery.’
- ‘Take the sight that greeted visitors to the seaside town of Largs last weekend, of the official Scotland team bus in all its splendid livery.’
- ‘And then the bartender: He is an absolute knockout to the ladies in his gold brocade livery that would not go astray in any of Shanghais' top notch nightclubs.’
- ‘It made sense to give her clothes, like a servant wearing his master's livery.’
- ‘I returned her parting wave just as a servant in messenger livery sprinted up to her, throwing a salute as he passed a scroll over.’
- ‘Several servants and guards dressed in Iven liveries quickly rushed out to the carriages and directed them to the house that her parents had employed.’
- ‘Pierre searched the pockets of his livery and pulled out three coins.’
- ‘The door swung in to reveal a handsome young guard in the full dress black and tan livery of House Domi.’
- ‘As president, Jefferson dressed down, but he did fit out the servants in snappy livery of blue and red cloth with silver trimmings.’
- ‘Dressed in livery, they were a common accoutrement of ladies and gentlemen of rank, but also accompanied sea captains and colonial officials.’
- ‘One of the first evidences that the authorities were hospitably inclined was the arrival of a smart Victoria with driver and syce in scarlet liveries, all to he kept at the Residency during the length of my stay.’
- ‘A Berber in scarlet livery brought in a yearling bear on a chain, dragging its paws on the floor and growling.’
- ‘He lead us into a large, rounded room as two men dressed in green livery passed.’
- ‘Servants in their traditional livery continued about their tasks, sable bands about their arms in honor.’
- ‘As we walked in, a servant in livery came up to us.’
- 1.1 A special design and colour scheme used on the vehicles, aircraft, or products of a particular company.‘the city's trams are painted in a red and white livery’
- ‘Some buses came from as far as Yorkshire, Plymouth and Kent to attend, all wearing different colour liveries and adverts.’
- ‘The airline's Irish roots will continue to be reflected in the company's logo that features a blue, yellow and green Celtic design and is incorporated in the aircraft livery and staff uniforms.’
- ‘In Bury, council bosses say the flags - which clip on to vehicles - would interfere with the livery of the car.’
- ‘They asked me to explain why the Royal Mail is hiring trailers for mail trucks - often without our livery - when we already have hundreds of vehicles in other depots?’
- ‘In recent months spray painters have been on the job covering the white livery of the ships with ‘warship grey.’’
- ‘They carry the same livery, being painted, principally white, but with red and blue additions suggestive of an adaptation of the American National flag.’
- ‘The squiggly lines on the livery that depict water and mountains seem so out of place in northern Virginia.’
- ‘If appearance is all important to a startup business, is it possible they may not want 085 on their corporate livery?’
- ‘In Frankfurt the plane will have its livery changed to the colours of the new owner.’
- ‘The type of aircraft and the livery applied allow identification of the time frame.’
- ‘They have distinctive red livery, leather seats, tinted windows and extra leg room.’
- ‘The claimants object to an identical livery being used for their products if it has been reapplied by the importer even where, as here, there is no risk or damage to the drugs themselves or specific subject matter of the marks.’
- ‘To mark the centenary, the company has painted one of its single-decker buses in a gold and bronze livery.’
- ‘As we chugged across the Bosphorus we passed a school of ferries criss-crossing the straits in their livery of yellow and white.’
- ‘Customers unsure which ones are the buses provided by the firm which has been here for years only need to look out for the buses with the cream, green and yellow liveries.’
- ‘Upon reorganisation on April 1, 1974, a stylised logo appeared along with a new livery of white with a dark green skirt and red upper deck windows and roof.’
- ‘The livery has also changed to include highly visible, white and red stickers running the width of the passenger and driver doors.’
- ‘The machine was unveiled in unbranded blue livery - the official launch will be in Zurich on 9 February.’
- ‘This, not very popular, livery continued for some time, but the buses began to look very grimy and in the late 1970s a variation of the former tram livery of predominantly green with cream relief was introduced.’
- ‘The idea behind the competition was to design a livery with an environmental message that would encourage more people to switch from using their cars to public transport.’
2North Americanshort for livery stable
- ‘If you don't want to be involved with the day-to-day care of your horse; then put him/her on full livery where every need will be catered for, but be prepared to pay heavily for this luxury.’
- ‘He was not thinking of what he was doing, for to think about it was to run to the livery and ride out madly.’
- ‘As he strolled across the main street, Hoss saw Adam's Sport saddled and tied to the hitching rail outside the livery.’
- ‘The deal was done, I would pay for half her shoeing, alternate bags of feed, livery (not including hay and straw) all worming and vaccinations.’
- ‘He created stable dividers, frontages and door grilles for the livery, all designed specially in line with the customer's specific requirements.’
- ‘Ben yanked him up by the back of his collar and half dragged him to the livery, depositing him in a pile of hay.’
- ‘Pet care Pet Owners, vets, kennels, stables, breeders, grooms, catteries, pet shops, liveries, and animal welfare all use our health supplements.’
3(in the UK) the members of a City livery company collectively.
4historical A provision of food or clothing for servants.
5British historical The ceremonial procedure at common law of conveying freehold land to a grantee.
- ‘And it retains aristocratic liveries, a ceremonial jargon derived from Norman French and a strict code of manners that can be traced to the laws of chivalry.’
(of a horse) kept for the owner and fed and cared for at a fixed charge.
- ‘My Lord, on the question of horses used for hunting kept at livery, our survey showed about 10,100 horses kept at livery or in riding stables and used for hunting.’
- ‘Keeping horses at livery and going out hunting are expensive pursuits that are totally unaffordable by those claiming penury status.’
Middle English: from Old French livree ‘delivered’, feminine past participle of livrer, from Latin liberare ‘liberate’ (in medieval Latin ‘hand over’). The original sense was ‘the dispensing of food, provisions, or clothing to servants’; hence livery (sense 4), also ‘allowance of provender for horses’, surviving in the phrase at livery and in livery stable. livery (sense 1) arose because medieval nobles provided matching clothes to distinguish their servants from others'.
1Resembling liver in colour or consistency.‘he was short with livery lips’
- ‘Then Gran fusses him and Sixth licks keenly at her livery hand, hoping to find more.’
- 1.1informal Liverish.‘port always makes you livery’
2British dialect (of soil) heavy.
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