One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A low neckline on a woman's dress or top.
- ‘Goitre was most noticeable in portraits from the 18th century, when décolletage was fashionable.’
- ‘Prudie thinks you should skip the décolletage and behave as though he were a favorite, fun cousin.’
- ‘Passing by a tall mirror that was framed in gold, Kathleen cast herself a glance: her décolletage was low as usual, and the wings of Renowyn could be seen peaking out from the low opening of her gown.’
- ‘The countess was still breathing harshly, her bosom rising and falling, straining against her low décolletage.’
- ‘She thought wryly that had Lady Percy's dress had a centimeter less of décolletage, her breasts would spill out into Lord Beaumont's hands.’
- ‘The suits are elegant, the hair high and the décolletages so precariously low that you know there's been a run on double-sided tape.’
- ‘Off are the felted wool cloaks and headscarves, and on are gossamer skirts, tulle petticoats, lace bordering, sweeping décolletages, silk bows, and the rest of fripperiedom.’
- ‘Oxford student Chelsea Clinton, pictured recently cuddling with her boyfriend in a Venetian gondola and at a Paris fashion show with a deep décolletage and enough mascara to paint a fence, appears to be a girlie feminist.’
- ‘She arrived looking stunning in flared black linen trousers, kitten heels and a risqué décolletage.’
- ‘As snow descends upon our fair city and temperatures plunge lower than a cabaret singer's décolletage, our theatres, concert hall, dance studios, and clubs are hot with the fire of creativity.’
- 1.1 A woman's cleavage as revealed by a low neckline on a dress or top.
Late 19th century: French, from décolleter ‘expose the neck’, from dé- (expressing removal) + collet ‘collar of a dress’.
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