Definition of Mae West in US English:

Mae West


dated, informal
  • An inflatable life jacket, originally as issued to pilots during World War II.

    • ‘Their flight suits were khaki and they wore yellow Mae West life vests.’
    • ‘Over the clothing we wore a Mae West, then the British parachute and, on top of that lot, came the quick-release Sutton harness.’
    • ‘He was wearing his Mae West life jacket, as he always did on a mission over water, because he couldn't swim.’


1940s: from the name of the American film actress Mae West (see West, Mae), noted for her large bust.


Mae West

/ˌmā ˈwest//ˌmeɪ ˈwɛst/