One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A belt or girdle, especially one worn by a bride in ancient times.
girdle, sash, strap, cummerbund, waistband, band, girthView synonyms
- ‘If she spoke rustic Greek instead of bad English, and wore a cestus in place of an ill-fitting corset, you'd swear she was a goddess.’
- ‘The cestus of Venus, the lute of Apollo, we never could find; but there was sweeter loot in the sack of Olympus, and our cellars are not yet quite empty.’
- ‘Her girdle or cestus conferred magic beauty on the wearer.’
- ‘He fastened with his own hand this rich cestus upon the person of the lovely tourist.’
- ‘He ridiculed a beautiful cestus, or clasp of brilliants and emeralds.’
Mid 16th century: Latin, from Greek kestos ‘stitched’.
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