The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Suit \Suit\ (s[=u]t), n. [OE. suite, F. suite, OF. suite,
sieute, fr. suivre to follow, OF. sivre; perhaps influenced
by L. secta. See Sue to follow, and cf. Sect, Suite.]
1. The act of following or pursuing, as game; pursuit. [Obs.]
2. The act of suing; the process by which one endeavors to
gain an end or an object; an attempt to attain a certain
result; pursuit; endeavor.
Thenceforth the suit of earthly conquest shone.
3. The act of wooing in love; the solicitation of a woman in
Rebate your loves, each rival suit suspend,
Till this funereal web my labors end. --Pope.
4. (Law) The attempt to gain an end by legal process; an
action or process for the recovery of a right or claim;
legal application to a court for justice; prosecution of
right before any tribunal; as, a civil suit; a criminal
suit; a suit in chancery.
I arrest thee at the suit of Count Orsino. --Shak.
In England the several suits, or remedial
instruments of justice, are distinguished into three
kinds -- actions personal, real, and mixed.
5. That which follows as a retinue; a company of attendants
or followers; the assembly of persons who attend upon a
prince, magistrate, or other person of distinction; --
often written suite, and pronounced sw[=e]t.
6. Things that follow in a series or succession; the
individual objects, collectively considered, which
constitute a series, as of rooms, buildings, compositions,
etc.; -- often written suite, and pronounced sw[=e]t.
7. A number of things used together, and generally necessary
to be united in order to answer their purpose; a number of
things ordinarily classed or used together; a set; as, a
suit of curtains; a suit of armor; a suit of clothes; a
three-piece business suit. "Two rogues in buckram suits."
[1913 Webster +PJC]
8. (Playing Cards) One of the four sets of cards which
constitute a pack; -- each set consisting of thirteen
cards bearing a particular emblem, as hearts, spades,
clubs, or diamonds; also, the members of each such suit
held by a player in certain games, such as bridge; as,
hearts were her long suit.
To deal and shuffle, to divide and sort
Her mingled suits and sequences. --Cowper.
9. Regular order; succession. [Obs.]
Every five and thirty years the same kind and suit
of weather comes again. --Bacon.
10. Hence: (derived from def 7) Someone who dresses in a
business suit, as contrasted with more informal attire;
specifically, a person, such as business executive, or
government official, who is apt to view a situation
formalistically, bureaucratically, or according to formal
procedural criteria; -- used derogatively for one who is
inflexible, esp. when a more humanistic or imaginative
approach would be appropriate.
Out of suits, having no correspondence. [Obs.] --Shak.
Suit and service (Feudal Law), the duty of feudatories to
attend the courts of their lords or superiors in time of
peace, and in war to follow them and do military service;
-- called also suit service. --Blackstone.
Suit broker, one who made a trade of obtaining the suits of
petitioners at court. [Obs.]
Suit court (O. Eng. Law), the court in which tenants owe
attendance to their lord.
Suit covenant (O. Eng. Law), a covenant to sue at a certain
Suit custom (Law), a service which is owed from time
Suit service. (Feudal Law) See Suit and service, above.
To bring suit. (Law)
(a) To bring secta, followers or witnesses, to prove the
plaintiff's demand. [Obs.]
(b) In modern usage, to institute an action.
To follow suit.
(a) (Card Playing) See under Follow, v. t.
(b) To mimic the action of another person; to perform an
action similar to what has preceded; as, when she
walked in, John left the room and his wife followed
(a) (Card Playing) the suit of which a player has the
largest number of cards in his hand; as, his long
suit was clubs, but his partner insisted on making
hearts trumps.. Hence: [fig.] that quality or
capability which is a person's best asset; as, we
could see from the mess in his room that neatness was
not his long suit.
strong suit same as long suit,
(b) . "I think our strong suit is that we can score from
both the perimeter and the post." --Bill Disbrow
(basketball coach) 1998. "Rigid ideological
consistency has never been a strong suit of the Whole
Earth Catalogue." --Bruce Sterling (The Hacker
[1913 Webster +PJC]