Livery

Orig. the distribution of food and clothing by a lord to his retainers. This giving of food or clothing was a regular occurrence, e.g. clothing being given annually. Food, too, might be given regularly, for example wine at Christmas. *Bracton says that livery 'is the transfer of a corporeal thing, one's own or another's, from one person to a second . . . a voluntary transference from one's own hand or another's, as that of a procurator, provided the transfer has his lord's consent'. In time 'livery' came to signify the clothing itself. At first, colours were simple russet or blue. Then, livery became part of the colour coding that evolved in medieval courts, which became increasingly wealthy and stratified. The coding had clerks wearing blue, knights green and *squires striped cloth, as did household servants; hence, later, part of the absurdity of Malvolio's wearing yellow stockings in Twelfth Night. Trade *guilds or misteries had their own liveries. [< Fr. livrer = dispense < Lat. libero = to give] -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • Livery — Liv er*y, n.; pl. {Liveries}. [OE. livere, F. livr[ e]e, formerly, a gift of clothes made by the master to his servants, prop., a thing delivered, fr. livrer to deliver, L. liberare to set free, in LL., to deliver up. See {Liberate}.] 1. (Eng.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • livery — liv‧e‧ry [ˈlɪvəri] noun [countable, uncountable] BrE MARKETING the colours and designs used by a company on its property and vehicles: • The rail company s carriages were repainted in a two tone brown livery. * * * Ⅰ. livery UK US /ˈlɪvəri/ noun… …   Financial and business terms

  • livery — ► NOUN (pl. liveries) 1) a special uniform worn by a servant, an official, or a member of a City Company. 2) a distinctive design and colour scheme used on the vehicles or products of a company. 3) the members of a livery company collectively. ●… …   English terms dictionary

  • Livery — Liv er*y, v. t. To clothe in, or as in, livery. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • livery — (n.) c.1300, household allowance of any kind (food, provisions, clothing) to retainers or servants, from Anglo Fr. livere (late 13c.), O.Fr. livrée, allowance, ration, pay, originally (clothes) delivered by a master to his retinue, from fem. pp.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • livery — [liv′ər ē] n. pl. liveries [ME, allowance of food, gift of clothes to a servant, thing delivered < OFr livree, pp. of livrer, to deliver < L liberare, to LIBERATE] 1. an identifying uniform such as was formerly worn by feudal retainers or… …   English World dictionary

  • Livĕry — (engl.), 1) die Gesammtheit der Londoner Bürger, welche das Wahlrecht besitzen; 2) so v.w. Zunft …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Livery — (engl., spr. liwwĕri), die Gesamtheit der das Wahlrecht genießenden Mitglieder (liverymen) der großen Gilden in der City von London. L. Companies (eigentlich Livreegesellschaften), so genannt, weil ihre Mitglieder die Livree der betreffenden… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Livery — Livery, englisch, die Gesammtheit der wahlberechtigten Londoner Bürger; Zunft …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Livery — A livery is a uniform or other sign worn in a non military context on a person or object (such as an airplane or vehicle) to denote a relationship with a person or corporate body, often by using elements of the heraldry relating to that person or …   Wikipedia

  • livery — 1. n. (pl. ies) 1 a distinctive clothing worn by a member of a City Company or by a servant. b membership of a City livery company. 2 a distinctive guise or marking or outward appearance (birds in their winter livery). 3 a distinctive colour… …   Useful english dictionary

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