One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A close-fitting bodice extending from the shoulders to the waist and typically with a short continuation below waist level.
- ‘In the meantime, I will be taking my new black and pink see-thru basque with me.’
- ‘In the production, at the theatre, she appeared briefly in stockings and a basque, in which she was pictured for publicity shots.’
- ‘The shots of her grinning like a lunatic on the beach, or posed in stockings and basque, were not enough.’
- ‘And take a look at supportive underwear; there are briefs which help hold your tummy in, and if you're really keen, boned basques which squeeze you in.’
- ‘Beside this, an armchair was covered in a wild outgrowth of clothes: summer dresses; stockings; suspenders; a garter belt; an ornate white basque that she had worn for him one night.’
- ‘Even sitting at home, she's in an extravagant outfit of stockings, suspenders, basque, feather boa, everything.’
- ‘He had hired a crazy wig and wore a slinky black dress, black stockings and a basque.’
- ‘The girl wore a see through black basque and back combed bleached hair.’
- ‘Shops all over the city have been ransacked for boots, basques, garters, stockings and suspenders and other distinctly racy garments by theatre-goers determined to join in the spirit of the gender-bending theatrical phenomenon.’
- ‘Inside the theatre foyer, I was greeted by two young women dressed for the part - one in a French maid's outfit and the other in a basque.’
- ‘If you are blessed with a curvy, hourglass figure, then a corset or basque will certainly make the most of your assets.’
- ‘We finally got the basque back and delivered it to the bride-to-be's room.’
- ‘She was referring to the picture of me dressed in a basque, stockings, suspenders and a thong that had been circulating on everybody's mobile phone.’
- ‘Even now, she is probably parading round your living room in a rubber basque.’
- ‘Just how ridiculous do we look with a basque over our jeans?’
- ‘He has no fetish for stiletto heels and stocking tops, and there are no women dressed only in basques.’
- ‘"She loves the customised T-shirts and the Kyri basques," says the shop owner, stepping up to the rail and removing an orange basque.’
- ‘The sexy star wore a tight-fitting basque designed by top corset-maker.’
- ‘That music has persuaded a huge range of actors and actresses to don basques and fishnets over the years.’
- ‘But if you want weird you should have seen the group of ladies and gents all dressed in black, some wearing basques and other risqué clothing.’
Mid 19th century: from Basque, referring to Basque dress.
1A member of a people living in the Basque Country of France and Spain. Culturally one of the most distinct groups in Europe, the Basques were largely independent until the 19th century.
- ‘French and Spanish fishermen soon joined the Basques.’
- ‘During the period of Spanish colonization, Basques from Spain had often taken administrative posts overseas.’
- ‘The Basques, Europe's oldest surviving group, are also the first identifiable people of the peninsula.’
- ‘The distinctive Basque culture was recognized by the rulers of Castile until the nineteenth century, when the Basques ' privileges were removed by the Spanish court.’
- ‘Although the Basque country is divided between France and Spain, the Basques have maintained an identity separate from both states.’
- ‘Due to centuries of social struggle, Basques now live in relative autonomy.’
- ‘One remarkable feature of the indigenous culture is that there are striking and inexplicable resemblances between the language and that of the Basques in Europe.’
- ‘In recent years, Basques in both Spain and France have promoted - with some success - the use of their traditional language.’
- ‘They have been joined by three other Spanish groups, the Basques, Galicians and Valencians who also want their languages officially recognised.’
- ‘The Basques are a distinct community with a unique language in what is today northern Spain and south west France.’
2The language of the Basques, which has no known relation to any other language.
- ‘With eight colleagues, he has just completed a large reference grammar of Basque, to be published shortly.’
- ‘But the majority prefer to speak Basque because it's easier for them.’
- ‘Etruscan was obviously not an Indo-European language and was unrelated to Basque.’
- ‘These languages include not only Dutch, German, and Scandinavian, Asian, and African languages, but less widely spoken languages such as Basque, Yiddish, and Greek.’
- ‘Whatever their mother tongue: Spanish, Hindi, Finnish, Basque, Walpiri, Quechua, babies acquire it long before they learn to read and write.’
Relating to the Basques or their language.
- ‘It is possible to listen to the music of many Basque composers, both contemporary and classical, and feel that the influence of the outside world has been paramount.’
- ‘They sing and improvise in Euskera, the Basque language.’
- ‘In these simple clubs, whose name in the ancient Basque language means ‘corner’, attendance is by invitation only.’
- ‘The Basque language is extremely difficult and complex.’
- ‘He was pleased to notice Basque symbols on the awning outside, but when we looked at the menu, we quickly noticed cuisine was more regional French and Spanish, with slight inflections of traditional dishes.’
From French, from Latin Vasco; compare with Gascon.
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