Definition of chest in English:



  • 1The front surface of a person's or animal's body between the neck and the stomach.

    ‘she crossed her arms across her chest’
    ‘he was very well built, with a muscular chest’
    • ‘I dropped my head to my chest and felt my body being moved to the front.’
    • ‘I allowed my hands to roam over his body, stroking his chest and caressing his arms.’
    • ‘He moved forward next to his own horse, running his hand down the animal's neck to his chest.’
    • ‘Gabriel removed his shirt, and I kissed his neck, his chest, his stomach, over and over again.’
    • ‘In fact there appears to be no cuts whatsoever on the body except for the chest and stomach.’
    • ‘He folded his arms in front of his chest and leaned back in his chair.’
    • ‘Pain or discomfort may extend beyond your chest to your shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw.’
    • ‘She had her arms crossed in front of her chest and one eyebrow raised.’
    • ‘Anna moved in front of him and crossed her arms over her chest and raised an eyebrow curious of what he was laughing at.’
    • ‘That's the reason you see so many great benchers with flat or underdeveloped chests but huge front deltoids.’
    • ‘The girl crossed her arms in front of her chest and threw back her head, letting out an evil chuckle.’
    • ‘The water slowly went up to my knees, to my stomach, to my chest, to my neck.’
    • ‘Inductance coils were placed around the chest and abdomen of each animal.’
    • ‘A rash then appears in patches, usually behind the ears, under the arms, on the chest and stomach, and the arms and legs.’
    • ‘Her eyes wander up from his chest, to his neck, his jaw line, and to his eyes.’
    • ‘Each reptile had body paint over their chests and arms, only leaders were allowed to decorate their faces.’
    • ‘It poured down his arm and his chest staining the front of his shirt.’
    • ‘Once Sydney was fully up, he happily leaned against her chest, forehead on neck.’
    • ‘Kylie stubbornly folded her arms in front of her chest and leaned her head back against the seat of the car.’
    • ‘Her warmth pressed against him, along his thighs, his stomach, his chest, his arms.’
    breast, upper body, body, torso, trunk
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The whole of a person's upper trunk, especially as considered with reference to their respiratory health or to their size of clothes.
      ‘a bad chest’
      ‘a 42-inch chest’
      • ‘The surface of the anterior chest wall and abdominal area were sterilized with ethanol.’
      • ‘Once surgery was complete, a catheter was placed in the intercostal space before the chest was closed.’
      • ‘Radiographs of the chest and a computed tomographic scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis were normal.’
      • ‘When the pain in your chest, arm, jaw, shoulders, or abdomen is angina, first be reassured.’
      • ‘On CT of the chest, irregular mucosa and narrowed tracheal lumen were observed.’
      • ‘The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle, which separates the chest from the abdominal cavity and forms the floor of the thorax.’
      • ‘I would only be inflicting my germs all over you and giving you a bad chest.’
      • ‘The chest was opened and the lung and heart were quickly isolated and excised.’
      • ‘A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a diseased, weakened, and bulging section of the aorta in the chest.’
      • ‘She was found to have the right lobe of her liver, small intestine, and cecum in the right chest.’
      • ‘From the throat, food travels down a muscular tube in the chest called the esophagus.’
      • ‘And in the late evening I was bundled off to the Accident and Emergency department suffering from bad pains in the chest.’
      • ‘During a chest X-ray, your body is placed between an X-ray camera and a piece of X-ray film.’
      • ‘The trachea appears as an air-shadow coursing down the midline of the chest and terminating at the carina.’
  • 2A large strong box, typically made of wood and used for storage or transport.

    ‘an oak chest’
    • ‘I insisted that he brighten up the interior before putting it to use, so all his tools and materials are in the garage, still in chests and boxes, waiting for their new home to be ready.’
    • ‘I need a chest of drawers, or a storage chest; just a smallish one, because my clothes are taking over the bedroom floor.’
    • ‘Give each person a small box with a lid, like a shoebox or a keepsake chest.’
    • ‘For centuries, such texts were collected by local families throughout the southern Sahara and stored in boxes, closets and chests.’
    • ‘I took out the oak chest from under my bed again and opened it once more.’
    • ‘Pedimented late colonial case furniture, for example, could not support cases of silver of the period, so they were placed instead on earlier oak chests.’
    • ‘By treasure, we are not talking about chests containing gold, silver and diamonds.’
    • ‘The storage chest was fairly easy, too, although it took a while to build because there were so many screws.’
    • ‘On one side of the room there were a few boxes and chests of storage, but Josie didn't mind.’
    • ‘I look across at the picture of Sanjay on the oak chest behind the couch.’
    • ‘The cash would be carried in oak chests, and the keys would be sent on in advance for added safety.’
    • ‘She removed several ammo clips from a storage chest and fitted them into her utility belt.’
    • ‘Finally, some of the chests were found to contain a single pair of shoes.’
    • ‘He pulled out one of the grenade magazines form his chest storage unit and aimed the launcher.’
    • ‘I held it delicately in my hand and continued to stare at the oak chest.’
    • ‘There were wood and iron chests each with a small lock on them.’
    • ‘Italian marriage chests, or cassoni, were usually made in pairs and given as wedding gifts to the bride and groom.’
    • ‘Many of the exquisite carvings and secret chambers found in old wooden chests and wardrobes are difficult to reproduce.’
    • ‘A set of bedroom storage chests, four dining chairs, and two wall storage units for the study remain to be assembled.’
    • ‘These chests were beautifully decorated, at first mainly made of wood, with iron hinges, locks and strappings.’
    box, case, casket, crate, trunk, coffer, strongbox
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A small cabinet for medicines, toiletries, etc.
      ‘the medicine chest’
      • ‘Angela pulled a soft cloth off of a beautiful walnut jewelry chest with glass doors.’
      • ‘She went to a small chest in the corner, it held their medicine supplies.’
      • ‘He placed his toiletries in the topmost drawer of the chest, then strolled across to the window.’
      • ‘It is also important to make sure that not only cabinets under the sink are locked but that medicine cabinets or chests are also secured.’
    2. 2.2British The treasury or financial resources of some institutions.
      ‘the university chest’
      • ‘Banks have been asked to take over the currency chests which are at present managed by the various State Government treasuries.’
      • ‘She has not received that sum because she did not claim it, and therefore the Treasury chest has not been reduced by that amount.’


  • Propel (the ball) by means of one's chest.

    ‘he chested the ball down’
    • ‘The midfielder, revelling in a more advanced role, chested the ball down and lashed it into the far corner of the net with his left foot.’
    • ‘As the ball found its way to him, he chested it down and calmly volleyed it towards the goal.’
    • ‘Right in front of goal, and cool as you like, he chested it down and buried it before the desperate defence could challenge. 57 minutes gone and game over.’
    • ‘The Dutchman displayed immense composure to chest the ball down, turn and make rapid incursions towards the visitors' penalty area.’
    • ‘He chested it down and sent a dipping right-footed volley into the top corner.’


  • get something off one's chest

    • informal Say something that one has wanted to say for a long time, resulting in a feeling of relief.

      ‘tell me about it, get it off your chest’
      • ‘Don't be shy - you'll feel better when you've got it off your chest.’
      • ‘In the days when I posted regularly, I felt satisfied I was getting my views off my chest.’
      • ‘It would be a definite relief to get things off her chest, to know that she was no longer alone in all of her struggles.’
      • ‘I had a conversation with the manager (last month), just a general chat that I wanted to have, and I got things off my chest.’
      • ‘The players were given extra training instead and we had a team meeting, at which we got a few things off our chest.’
      • ‘It's a great way of getting things off your chest.’
      • ‘We had a clear-the-air meeting earlier this week in which the manager got a few things off his chest.’
      • ‘I've been living the biggest mistake of my life for the last nine years and I think it's time I finally got it off my chest.’
      • ‘I feel I must be too late to apologise to her parents, but at least I have got it off my chest!’
      • ‘This was greeted with general assent; she had got something off her chest.’
      confess, disclose, divulge, reveal, make known, make public, own up to, make a clean breast of, bring into the open, tell all about, say what one is thinking
      get a load off one's mind, unburden oneself
      spill the beans about, come out with it
      View synonyms
  • play (or keep) one's cards close to one's chest (or north americanvest)

    • informal Be extremely secretive and cautious about one's intentions.

      ‘the less skilled negotiator feels vulnerable and is more likely to keep his cards close to his chest’
      • ‘Former colleagues recall him playing his cards close to his chest - and keeping an extremely clean desk.’
      • ‘‘He's playing his cards close to his vest,’ you write.’
      • ‘Yesterday he was playing his cards close to his chest and refusing to speculate about the composition of his front bench.’
      • ‘Most others were playing their cards close to their chest.’
      • ‘So far, the special prosecutor has kept his cards close to his chest.’
      • ‘He keeps his cards close to his vest.’
      • ‘Who supports the program, who wants to phase it out, and who's keeping their cards close to their vest, trying to figure which way the wind will blow?’
      • ‘As for the big-ticket retailers, they seem to be playing their cards close to their chest.’
      • ‘He always had his own agenda, playing his cards close to his chest.’
      • ‘Well, like other national security councils around the world, they tend to keep their cards close to their chest.’


Old English cest, cyst, related to Dutch kist and German Kiste, based on Greek kistē box.