Liveries
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. Law) (a) The act of delivering possession of lands or tenements. (b) The writ by which possession is obtained. [1913 Webster]

Note: It is usual to say, {livery of seizin}, which is a feudal investiture, made by the delivery of a turf, of a rod, a twig, or a key from the feoffor to the feoffee as a symbol of delivery of the whole property. There was a distinction of {livery in deed} when this ceremony was performed on the property being transferred, and {livery in law} when performed in sight of the property, but not on it. In the United States, and now in Great Britain, no such ceremony is necessary, the delivery of a deed being sufficient as a livery of seizin, regardless of where performed. --Black's 4th Ed. [1913 Webster +PJC]

2. Release from wardship; deliverance. [1913 Webster]

It concerned them first to sue out their livery from the unjust wardship of his encroaching prerogative. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. That which is delivered out statedly or formally, as clothing, food, etc.; especially: (a) The uniform clothing issued by feudal superiors to their retainers and serving as a badge when in military service. (b) The peculiar dress by which the servants of a nobleman or gentleman are distinguished; as, a claret-colored livery. (c) Hence, also, the peculiar dress or garb appropriated by any association or body of persons to their own use; as, the livery of the London tradesmen, of a priest, of a charity school, etc.; also, the whole body or company of persons wearing such a garb, and entitled to the privileges of the association; as, the whole livery of London. [1913 Webster]

A Haberdasher and a Carpenter, A Webbe, a Dyer, and a Tapicer, And they were clothed all in one livery Of a solempne and a gret fraternite. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

From the periodical deliveries of these characteristic articles of servile costume (blue coats) came our word livery. --De Quincey. (d) Hence, any characteristic dress or outward appearance. `` April's livery.'' --Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster]

Now came still evening on, and twilight gray Had in her sober livery all things clad. --Milton. (e) An allowance of food statedly given out; a ration, as to a family, to servants, to horses, etc. [1913 Webster]

The emperor's officers every night went through the town from house to house whereat any English gentleman did repast or lodge, and served their liveries for all night: first, the officers brought into the house a cast of fine manchet [white bread], and of silver two great pots, and white wine, and sugar. --Cavendish. (f) The feeding, stabling, and care of horses for compensation; boarding; as, to keep one's horses at livery. [1913 Webster]

What livery is, we by common use in England know well enough, namely, that is, allowance of horse meat, as to keep horses at livery, the which word, I guess, is derived of livering or delivering forth their nightly food. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

It need hardly be observed that the explanation of livery which Spenser offers is perfectly correct, but . . . it is no longer applied to the ration or stated portion of food delivered at stated periods. --Trench. (g) The keeping of horses in readiness to be hired temporarily for riding or driving; the state of being so kept; also, the place where horses are so kept, also called a {livery stable}. [1913 Webster]

Pegasus does not stand at livery even at the largest establishment in Moorfields. --Lowell. [1913 Webster]

4. A low grade of wool. [1913 Webster]

{Livery gown}, the gown worn by a liveryman in London. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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