Definition of girdle in English:



  • 1A belt or cord worn around the waist.

    • ‘Its versatility gave it multitudinous forms, a girdle, a patka or waistband, or a drape around the shoulders.’
    • ‘It was a beautiful, yet plain sea-green gown with a small girdle.’
    • ‘There were rings for slender fingers, bracelets for elegant arms, girdles for shapely waists, and anklets for nimble feet that danced happily in the courtyard to the sound of sweet music.’
    • ‘The chulter, an intricately woven apron, is worn below the black wool girdle or belt.’
    • ‘His midriff was protected by a drape of chainmail covering a leather girdle and loincloth.’
    • ‘In dress he affected a purple robe with a golden girdle, bronze sandals, and a Delphic laurel-wreath, and in his manner he was grave and cultivated a regal public persona.’
    • ‘The sleeves flared out at her elbows, and the silver girdle accentuated her slender waist; the fabric clung to her slim form.’
    • ‘His long-sleeved, shirt-like garment is held in at the waist by a narrow girdle.’
    • ‘Some insignia, such as hats, necklaces, belts, and girdles, are worn daily.’
    • ‘Black belts were strapped tightly across the waists and two of the men had an additional girdle across their broad chests from top left to bottom right.’
    • ‘Such gems could be woven into important clothing, on belts and girdles, mounted as jewellery, or just collected for their own sake.’
    • ‘A yard was originally the length of a man's belt or girdle, as it was called.’
    • ‘The men wore gold chains, pendants, girdles, and finger rings.’
    • ‘They served as belt toggles to hold containers for tobacco, money and other objects that would be carried on the cloth belt or girdle, as the kimono had no pockets.’
    belt, sash, strap, cummerbund, waistband, band, girth, cord, fillet
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    1. 1.1 A woman's elasticized corset extending from waist to thigh.
      • ‘And most of all, she didn't have to wear a girdle.’
      • ‘Right now I should be wearing a bra and girdle and at times do and if I can ever afford to live alone I probably will.’
      • ‘There they had me strip off behind a bush and put on a long line bra and girdle, a dress and wig.’
      • ‘She reaches up her skirt, wriggles, yanks free an enormous, elastic, tan girdle.’
      • ‘My grandmother is one of the last women on the planet who wears a girdle.’
      • ‘Avoid tight-fitting clothing or undergarments that restrict blood flow at the waist, groin & legs (e.g. girdles, stockings & socks).’
      • ‘Others must rely on foam-padded bras and girdles to create womanly curves.’
      • ‘She pulled on a loose fitting chemise and a violet silk skirt over her girdle and stockings and left her room silently, in search of adventure.’
      • ‘The actual subject herself only appears once or twice; the ‘portrait’ is built up metonymically, in terms of the objects the mother once wore or used: chemises, girdles, shoes, lipsticks, false teeth.’
      • ‘He unlaced her girdle rapidly; all the while his lips took in her face.’
      • ‘‘I usually wear a girdle to hide any bumps,’ Dawn laughed.’
      • ‘I may have been only six years old at the time but even I knew you couldn't possibly forget you were wearing a girdle.’
      • ‘But then again, she wore girdles and kept monogrammed hankies and Devonshire toffees in her handbag.’
      • ‘Yet the exhibit still reveals the intricate machinery that made the New Look work: corsets, brassieres and girdles re-emerged from decades past to discipline the female body into the latest couture creations.’
      • ‘I wore the girdle to sleep, I wore the girdle to blog, I wore the girdle to watch TV.’
      • ‘Olivia obeyed, first putting on the girdle, feeling incredibly stupid, and then the bra that gave her so much lift it hurt.’
      • ‘She wore a white gown with a gilded leather girdle about her slender hips and her hair gleamed like molten gold in the morning sun.’
      • ‘A bonus of tight winter underwear is that it acts as a sort of girdle to hold in the saggy bits of fat, giving you a slimmer silhouette.’
      • ‘Unlike most sports bras or girdles currently on the market, this bra provides maximum support while minimizing the size of your breasts.’
      • ‘I shall wear my girdle at home as girdles are socially unacceptable.’
      corset, corselet, foundation garment, panty girdle
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    2. 1.2 A thing that surrounds something like a belt or girdle.
      ‘a communications girdle around the world’
      • ‘Think about the abdominal structure as a girdle or wall that supports your internal organs and back.’
    3. 1.3Anatomy Either of two sets of bones encircling the body, to which the limbs are attached.
      • ‘The pectoral and pelvic girdles were also greatly expanded ventrally, although the dorsal parts of the girdles were reduced.’
      • ‘These animals also have relatively large shoulder girdles, possibly to provide muscle attachment to support the weight of the huge head.’
      • ‘Because your shoulder girdle is an injury-prone area, take the following extra safety precautions when performing overhead presses.’
      • ‘Thus, selection will necessarily favor a rigid body and limb girdles that act, as much as possible, by exerting force on the vertebral column.’
      • ‘By doing so, your shoulder girdle will move back, allowing you to stretch your chest muscles farther during the exercise without placing as much stress on your front delts.’
    4. 1.4 The part of a cut gem dividing the crown from the base and embraced by the setting.
      • ‘The stone is next mounted on a lathe and, using a second diamond, the points of the crystal are ground away to form a round girdle, a process known as bruting.’
    5. 1.5 A ring around a tree made by removing bark.
      • ‘It was observed in all twig tissues analysed apical to the girdle, including the bark.’
      • ‘Girdling brought about carbohydrate (soluble sugar and starch) accumulation in leaves and shoot bark above the girdle, in trees during their fruitless, ‘off’ year.’


  • 1Encircle (the body) with or as a girdle or belt.

    ‘the Friar loosened the rope that girdled his waist’
    • ‘She was girdled up within an inch of her life in a high-waisted dress that had to be made.’
    1. 1.1 Surround; encircle.
      ‘the chain of volcanoes that girdles the Pacific’
      • ‘A large patio stepped down to a lawn girdled by flowers and cedars.’
      • ‘To watch these small whales swimming only five miles from the city was a great privilege; to watch them departing on a river girdled with filth was less so.’
      • ‘About 35 serene green miles later, you're in Leiden, a university city girdled by canals and dominated by the gothic ostentation of its 15th century church.’
      • ‘During the low light of new moons, the satellites are sensitive enough to capture the network of electric lights girdling the globe.’
      • ‘All over Europe, the fringes of suburbia are blighted by the dreary apparatus of industry - undecorated sheds and dour offices in glum lots girdled by sterile acres of parking.’
      • ‘The trade winds from both hemispheres converge towards the doldrums and a zone of low pressure, the equatorial trough, that girdles the earth.’
      • ‘Carmona, a half-hour's comfortable drive from Sevilla, is no exception, its Moorish hill-top fortifications girdled by a skirt of glaring white walls and terracotta roofs that spill down to the surrounding plains.’
      • ‘Like all the best old towns, it folds into its landscape, the grid of terraces like contours girdling the hill.’
      • ‘Permanent examples of anticyclones exist in the subtropics, where a belt of anticyclones girdles the world at latitudes between about 20 and 40 degrees.’
      • ‘You can only girdle the globe 38 times with that.’
      • ‘According to their research, the droplets must have condensed from the cooling vapor cloud that girdled the Earth following the impact.’
      • ‘Elegant arcades girdled courtyards but most remaining today have been roughly adapted to modern needs.’
      • ‘The bus stop in her village is a semi circle of paved road girdled by a hillock.’
      surround, enclose, encircle, circle, ring, encompass, circumscribe, border, bound, edge, skirt, fringe, form a ring around, form a barrier round
      close in, shut in, fence in, wall in, hem in, pen in, pen up, lock in, cut off, confine
      gird, engird, compass
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  • 2Cut through the bark all the way around (a tree or branch), typically in order to kill it or to kill a branch to make the tree more fruitful.

    • ‘If you girdle the base of the tree exposing the cambium layer, the tree will die.’
    • ‘Forty-five branches were girdled to control their leaf-to-fruit ratio precisely.’
    • ‘If these are not removed they can girdle the tree, cutting into the trunk and eventually killing the tree.’
    • ‘Avoid nicking the trunks of trees and shrubs; these cuts can injure or kill the plant by girdling the bark.’
    • ‘Trees up to 3 feet in diameter can be felled and larger trees can be girdled.’


Old English gyrdel, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gordel and German Gürtel, also to gird and girth.