One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Encircle (a person or part of the body) with a belt or band.‘a young man was to be girded with the belt of knighthood’
- ‘A golden belt girded his waist.’
- ‘Once elected, the two winners were girt with a sword as Knights of the Shire.’
- ‘I invest him with your robe, gird him with your sash, entrust him with your authority; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the House of Judah.’
- ‘But when the fabric is girding my middle and slung over my shoulder, Brian tells me that I look like an African prince.’
- ‘One believer will gird him or herself with a towel, bend a knee, and wash the feet of another in a simple basin, drying the feet with the towel that is wrapped around the waist.’
- 1.1 Secure (a garment or sword) on the body with a belt or band.‘a white robe girded with a magenta sash’
fasten, belt, bind, tieView synonyms
- ‘The bushes rustled, and around us three more men, all with swords girt at their sides, stepped out.’
- ‘They gird their weapons, mount their horses, and form into groups in the guise of a troop of soldiers.’
- ‘Instead, he was dressed in a loose black robe with no sleeves, girt at the waist with a white metal belt.’
- ‘Soon his shoes were being girded with golden spurs.’
- ‘One was prepared to leave, and had only to gird his sword about his waist, when the other spoke suddenly.’
- 1.2 Surround; encircle.‘steel rings that gird the elongated, tubular building’
surround, enclose, encircle, circle, ring, encompass, circumscribe, border, bound, edge, skirt, fringe, form a ring around, form a barrier roundView synonyms
- ‘Well that's interesting, because we sing in our national anthem that ‘Our land is girt by sea’, but we have been slow to recognise its importance in indigenous culture.’
- ‘I thought of our pilgrimages out of the city, the slow tide of traffic to the shore or family visits, a cincture of security and welcome girding the suburbs and beyond.’
- ‘In the eastern section were three broad stone pillars supporting the balcony above, which girded the guest rooms on the second floor.’
gird (up) one's loins (or gird oneself for something)
literary Prepare and strengthen oneself for what is to come.
prepare, get ready, make ready, gear up, nerve, steel, galvanize, brace, strengthen, fortify, bolster, buttressView synonyms
- ‘Quite how I am going to gird my loins to restart studying in October, I am not sure.’
- ‘However he never gave up and continually sought to gird his loins with courage.’
- ‘I think she should have told him and let the family gird their loins against it.’
- ‘Meantime, it is essential that we do gird our loins and fight this latest takeover of our right to farm.’
- ‘The ruse of hiding the newspapers no longer works because nowadays when they cannot find them they put two and two together and gird themselves for a funeral.’
- ‘He calls on ‘progressives’ everywhere to gird their loins for a battle for humanity.’
- ‘But I girded my loins and I gritted my teeth and I did it - with only a slight hint at tears welling up in my eyes.’
- ‘This, then, is the time when we should be taking our last quiet pleasures whilst we gird our loins for the coming assault.’
- ‘You get more tired and less able to take the stress and to gird your loins and take on another day.’
- ‘So after breakfast I brush my teeth, gird my loins and set off into the mythical morning.’
gird oneself for
Prepare oneself for (dangerous or difficult future actions)
- ‘Do we really need them, or would we better off just girding ourselves for a huge fight and getting rid of them?’
- ‘Both teachers sigh and mentally gird themselves for the next battle.’
- ‘So, in this alternate history, just as in our real history, America once more girds itself for war.’
- ‘There's no point in delaying it any longer, and Ian girds himself for her reaction by staring at her with a steel-like gaze.’
- ‘The students had girded themselves for the slopes in three distinct modes.’
- ‘With all the players on the political stage girding themselves up for the 2007 presidential elections, the race for the presidency has already begun.’
- ‘He girds himself for an onslaught of late-night callers asking for analysis of the election results.’
- ‘A local official said the country must gird itself for a ‘disaster scenario.’’
- ‘So, in a sense, it is understandable that we gird ourselves for this sober second anniversary with a lingering sense of uncertainty.’
- ‘The news will have surprised the company's lawyers, who only this week were girding themselves for the next round of litigation.’
Old English gyrdan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gorden and German gürten, also to girdle and girth.
Make cutting or critical remarks.‘they girded at the committee’
A cutting or critical remark; a taunt.
Middle English (in the sense ‘strike, stab’): of unknown origin.
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