suit / soōt/ • n. 1. a set of outer clothes made of the same fabric and designed to be worn together, typically consisting of a jacket and trousers or a jacket and skirt. ∎ a set of clothes to be worn on a particular occasion or for a particular activity: a jogging suit. ∎ a complete set of pieces of armor for covering the whole body. ∎ a complete set of sails required for a ship or for a set of spars. ∎ (usu. suits) inf. an executive in a business or organization, typically one regarded as exercising influence in an impersonal way: maybe now the suits in Washington will listen.2. any of the sets distinguished by their pictorial symbols into which a deck of playing cards is divided, in conventional decks comprising spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.3. short for lawsuit. ∎ the process of trying to win a woman's affection, typically with a view to marriage: he could not compete with John's charms in Marian's eyes and his suit came to nothing. ∎ poetic/lit. a petition or entreaty made to a person in authority.• v. 1. [tr.] be convenient for or acceptable to: he lied whenever it suited him | [intr.] the apartment has two bedrooms—if it suits, you can have one of them. ∎ (suit oneself) [often in imper.] act entirely according to one's own wishes (often used to express the speaker's annoyance): “I'm not going to help you.” “Suit yourself.” ∎ go well with or enhance the features, figure, or character of (someone): the dress didn't suit her. ∎ (suit something to) archaic adapt or make appropriate for (something): they took care to suit their answers to the questions put to them.2. [intr.] put on clothes, typically for a particular activity: I suited up and entered the water.PHRASES: follow suitsee follow.ORIGIN: Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French siwte, from a feminine past participle of a Romance verb based on Latin sequi ‘follow.’ Early senses included ‘attendance at a court’ and ‘legal process’; senses 1 and 2 derive from an earlier meaning ‘set of things to be used together.’ The verb sense ‘make appropriate’ dates from the late 16th cent.
A. (hist.) attendance at court XIII;
B. †pursuit XIV; legal process XV;
C. †train, suite XIII;
D. †livery, garb XIII;
E. set, series XV. ME. siute, siwte, s(e)ute — AN. siute, OF. si(e)ute (mod. suite) :- Gallo-Rom. *sequita, sb. use of fem. pp. of *sequere follow, SUE.
Hence suit vb. †sue, pursue XV; provide with apparel; be agreeable or convenient to XVI. Whence suitable †matching, to match; †agreeing, accordant XVI; fitting, appropriate XVII.
a number of things used together; a company of followers or disciples. See also set, stand.
Examples : suit of armour, 1859; of beads, 1654; of biscuits (1 cwt); of clothes, 1761; of diamonds, 1782; of hair, 1893; of hangings, 1623; of hounds; of mallards (a flight), 1486; of oars, 1817; of pasturing paddocks, 1778; of pages, esquires, and chaplains, 1865; of pictures; of playing cards, 1529; of ribbons, 1762; of sails (a set), 1626; of saints and good men, 1612; of spars; of trees, 1402; of witnesses, 1647; of married women, 1799; of years, 1625.
See also men in (grey) suits.
A generic term, of comprehensive signification, referring to any proceeding by one person or persons against another or others in a court of law in which the plaintiff pursues the remedy that the law affords for the redress of an injury or the enforcement of a right, whether at law or inequity.