Definition of aiguillette in US English:



  • An ornament on some military and naval uniforms, consisting of braided loops hanging from the shoulder and on dress uniforms ending in points.

    • ‘The aiguillette was probably first used to lace parts of the uniform together and evolved to become part of the uniform for higher ranks, and ultimately for Equerries and Aides-de-Camp.’
    • ‘Firmin can supply ceremonial aiguillettes and shoulder boards manufactured from gold and silver wires for state ceremonial, aides de camp and senior officers.’
    • ‘Perfect example of the dress aiguillette which has been well kept and protected in the box.’
    • ‘An order of 1764 discontinued the wearing of the aiguillette and replaced it with an epaulette worn on the left shoulder.’
    • ‘Patterned and flecked cord aiguillettes are also available, as well as a variety of tags and attachments for the tips of the aiguillette itself.’
    • ‘Aside from being an insignia for an aide, aiguillette like cords were awarded to American soldiers by the French and Belgium governments as the Fourragére.’
    • ‘Another tale recounts that aiguillettes originated with the cord and pencil worn by generals and staff officers for writing dispatches.’
    • ‘Bright aluminum bullion aiguillette shows virtually no wear or age and is complete with slide, cords, and attaching loops in virtually unissued condition.’
    • ‘We have a wide range of lanyards, aiguillettes and swordknots that add flair to your personality.’
    • ‘Normal aiguillettes are gold with a blue thread woven through; Flag Officers wear only gold aiguillettes.’
    • ‘Airmen leaders will wear the single braided red, yellow or green aiguillette with all uniform combinations; chapel assistants will wear the white aiguillette; drum and bugle or fife and drum will wear the silver or white and navy blue aiguillette; drill team members and special activity teams will wear the black aiguillette.’
    • ‘Similar aiguillettes are worn on the right shoulder by Aides de Camp to the Governor-General.’
    • ‘But in 1914, the notions of shoulders braid and aiguillettes confound themselves.’
    • ‘The leadership academe is the only aiguillette allowed on the right shoulder.’
    • ‘Coats, jackets, and other garments became increasingly embellished during the 18th century as epaulettes, loops, lace, and aiguillettes all appeared.’
    • ‘The belt and buckle with the aiguillette are still in the original round, black leatherette-faced cardboard container.’


Mid 16th century: from French, literally ‘small needle’, diminutive of aiguille.