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Oxford Dictionary paraphernalia - a large number of objects or personal possessions, especially the equipment that you need for a particular activity.

Collins Dictionary paraphernalia - You can refer to a large number of objects that someone has with them or that are connected with a particular activity as paraphernalia.

I see this often use in conjunction with the word "drug" although is not mentioned in the dictionary. Does this word have a negative connotation?

If one were to say the size of this bag is ideal for your daily paraphernalia and is meant to refer to items like phone, packet of tissues, keys, coin purse, cards case, pens, notebooks, cosmetics ...etc. Without further adding any context, does the sentence itself sufficient to illustrate that?

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  • The word is neither negative nor positive, but the associated activity (drug use, daily life) may be seen as good or bad. Mar 14, 2022 at 8:17

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The word itself does not have an inherently negative connotation, but I do agree with you that over time it has come to be used more often in negative contexts than positive ones.

Aside from drug paraphernalia (referring to drug-taking equipment), it is often used to refer to collections of merchandise. For example, if someone was a fan of a sports team or a band and had a room decorated with posters etc, a person might refer to it collectively as 'paraphernalia'. It is unlikely the collector would use that term themselves, so again, it takes on a slightly negative connotation because the person using it has less regard for the material than the owner.

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  • I can also, I suppose, imagine a slightly negative implication of mess, chaos, cluuter, or disorganisation, but not always. Medical paraphernalia might include a stethoscope, prescription pads, forceps, syringes, bandages, etc, and they might or might not be tidily organised. Mar 14, 2022 at 10:01
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The word 'paraphernalia' is neither negative nor positive, but the associated activity (drug use, daily life) may be seen as good or bad.

Illegal drug use is widely seen as a bad thing, for example because it can lead to unemployment, crime, illness, death, etc.

Carrying out normal daily life is neither good or bad, it is just what everybody does.

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