Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1600-1700
Language: Medieval Latin
Origin: Greek parapherna 'things brought to a marriage by a woman apart from the agreed amount of money', from pherne 'dowry'

paraphernalia

noun
     
par‧a‧pher‧na‧li‧a [uncountable]
1 a lot of small things that belong to someone, or are needed for a particular activity:
an electric kettle and all the paraphernalia for making tea and coffee
travelling paraphernalia
2 the things and events that are connected with a particular activity, especially those which you think are unnecessary:
all the usual paraphernalia of bureaucracy

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