Definition of waist in US English:



  • 1The part of the human body below the ribs and above the hips.

    • ‘She made me bend my waist to the point where I thought my muscles would pull apart.’
    • ‘He spoke with a local accent and was wearing a red waist-length jacket, navy blue jeans and black gloves.’
    • ‘I waded gingerly in to waist height, fully expecting my wetsuit to dissolve.’
    • ‘The higher buttons will help divert people's attention from the area between your waist and chest.’
    • ‘Shift weight from one leg to the other while making a punching motion with the right hand, sweeping from waist to chin level.’
    • ‘He was wearing a sweater that only made it half-way down from his neckline to his waist.’
    • ‘Bone biopsies are usually taken from the top of the pelvis bone, just below your waist.’
    • ‘Bend at the waist, and as you stand, lift the bar to your waist.’
    • ‘Local anaesthetics numb the body from the waist down and allow the mother to stay awake, but free of pain, during the operation.’
    • ‘There are, of course, restrictions on contact that allow blocking only between the waist and shoulders.’
    • ‘As we were driving through Calcutta, my friend pointed to a little shrine to a god embedded in a wall just below waist level.’
    • ‘The goal of fencing is to touch your sword 15 times above your opponent's waist.’
    • ‘For the belt, cut a length of ribbon long enough to go around the waist with a 4-inch overlap.’
    • ‘Breathe out and draw in the stomach and the waist as if you're trying to get into a tight pair of jeans.’
    • ‘The popular lengths for jackets this fall are waist length, three-quarter length and trench coat length.’
    • ‘The new tote carry strap is adjustable and can be worn over the shoulder or around the waist.’
    • ‘He wrapped his arms around my waist and I turned back to smile at him.’
    • ‘So the boy let his father fix the rope around his waist, and instruct him in how to climb over the edge and find the rungs of the ladder.’
    • ‘Let the waist, torso and arms follow naturally turning with the force produced by the legs.’
    • ‘To Peter's astonishment a familiar figure was wading ashore, a red and white lifebelt about his waist.’
    1. 1.1 The circumference of a person's waist.
      ‘her waist is 28 inches’
      • ‘Wrapping yourself in seaweed to reduce the size of your waist is another con.’
      • ‘My waist went down two inches, to 32, mostly from laying off potatoes - French and mashed.’
      • ‘To this end we have recently had published the first waist circumference centile curves for British children and adolescents.’
      • ‘In five weeks he has lost 19 lb, his waist has shrunk by two inches and his blood pressure is down.’
      • ‘The costume in question is designed by corset designer Mr Pearl, who has forced his waist down to 18 inches by wearing corsets day and night.’
      • ‘We found no evidence of any effect on body mass index or waist:hip ratio.’
      • ‘I'm not sure how I managed to gain 5 inches on my waist that fast.’
      • ‘Ancient statues have been found of men and women with 10-inch (!) waists!’
      • ‘His waist size is 36 inches and he has recently lost a stone and a half.’
      • ‘Imagine you completely mess up her measurements and overestimate her bust or waist?’
      • ‘Chef to the stars Juliano is the gourmet genius who has created a diet that he claims has taken years off Demi's appearance and inches off her waist.’
      • ‘I mean, yes, it's nice to now be two inches less around the waist, but…’
      • ‘It's guaranteed to help you lose two inches from your waist in just four weeks.’
      • ‘How lovely to think that even those with 24-inch waists will be forced to cover them up from now on.’
      • ‘According to a recent UK national sizing survey, women's waists have grown from around 27 inches to a meaty 34 inches since 1951.’
      • ‘Women with waists measuring 35 inches or greater are considered to be at elevated risk.’
      • ‘The waist circumference thresholds are not reliable in patients with a BMI greater than 35.’
      • ‘By this means we are told that waists can be reduced, flat chests inflated, hips broadened and lungs strengthened, to say nothing of reducing weight.’
      • ‘I have lost two inches in my waist through exercise and healthy eating, but that hasn't given me any curves.’
      • ‘Abdominal fat cells happily inflate to accommodate more fuel, widening your waist inch by inch.’
    2. 1.2 A narrowing of the trunk of the body above the hips.
      ‘the last time you had a waist was around 1978’
      • ‘I plaited her hair so that it fell in one long rope of yellow to her narrow waist.’
      • ‘By the end of the century corsets produced the sinuous body shape of the Gibson girl, with a protruding bust and derrière, and small waist.’
      • ‘I once dated a girl who had a very boyish build - a thick waist and no hourglass shape at all.’
      • ‘While you might not like the $300 price tag, generally European cuts are far more flattering to guys with narrow waists/shoulders.’
      • ‘Swimmers with this body type are more muscular, thick-chested with broad shoulders and a smaller waist.’
      • ‘He has one of those narrow, washboard waists that most of us can only dream about.’
      • ‘A tailor will also fit your shirts, which can help make your waist seem narrower and your shoulders broader.’
      • ‘Angers is stood sideways, arms raised to emphasise his waist and ribcage.’
      • ‘Oh and it has also been pointed out to me that this shirt will only look good on people with super skinny waists like this model here.’
      • ‘In connection to chaps, they are made with exceptional fit to emphasize the thighs and waists of women.’
      • ‘Her figure was not slim or round, but ideally in the middle, with an hourglass waist.’
      • ‘But almost anyone who has tried to reclaim her waist can point to weeks or months when it doesn't seem to work that way.’
      • ‘The fabric was printed with a simple design, and the full skirt accentuated her tiny waist.’
      • ‘Wide angular shoulders filled out his suit jacket, but it hung loosely to a narrow waist.’
      • ‘A set-in waistband hints at a waist, while the flared hemline softens a boxy shape.’
      • ‘The result is that the typical female form is almost straight, in contrast to the narrow waists and curves of the 1950s woman.’
    3. 1.3 The part of a garment encircling or covering the waist.
      • ‘My jeans have an elastic waist and pockets on the side and larger ones below my knees.’
      • ‘If done in this manner, you can make one ‘side seam’ stitching from the cuff to the waist or to the hem of the garment.’
      • ‘He then shifted his weight from his left to right side allowing his black jacket to open to reveal a gun, tucked into the waist of his jeans.’
      • ‘Both are very slimming through the hips and the elastic waists are unnoticeable under a top.’
      • ‘For men, the geometry of jacket lapels, shoulder pads and waist tapering emphasize the strong upper body of a male.’
      • ‘Play up your figure with fitted tops, spaghetti-strap blouses and dresses, jackets with cinched waists and sleeveless tanks with round, high necklines.’
      • ‘Pin your creation on your shoulder, at the waist, on a hat or handbag, even on a cuff at the wrist.’
      • ‘Sara, having no pockets, stuck the paper into the waist of her sweat pants.’
      • ‘Flopped before the telly, we slowly expand to fill out the elasticated waist of our new training pants.’
      • ‘It has two zippered side-entry pockets and high-quality ribbing at the waist and cuffs.’
      • ‘At that time, women also commonly wore a loose black gown with a gold stripe around the waist and at the hem.’
      • ‘Often featuring a snap front and drawstring waist, this jacket may be lined or unlined.’
      • ‘Jennifer Garner was wearing a pair of khaki pants, pleated at the waist and tapered at the ankle.’
      • ‘How I manage is buy things with either elastic waists or things that have overblouses.’
      • ‘Drawstring pants with elastic in the waist allow for a closer fit with added flexibility.’
      • ‘They looked fine, a bit on the big side perhaps, but they have an elasticated section in the waist and a draw-cord, so I reckoned it was worth a try.’
      • ‘This particular form of tailoring is tight and tiny, cut with soft, rounded shoulders, open necklines and small waists which are sometimes belted.’
      • ‘Or try a pair of drawstring waist Capri pants that give the same effect.’
      • ‘She had a small knife, a dagger, and a pistol tucked into her waist.’
      • ‘Even with her hair in a pony tail, its length fell just below the small of her back, just so the ends touched the hem on the waist of her jeans.’
    4. 1.4 The point at which a garment is shaped so as to narrow between the rib cage and the hips.
      ‘a jacket with a high waist’
      • ‘Strapless or V-neck tops, corsets and kimonos with shaped waists fit the bill, while ruched or shirred details can also help create shape and a lean line.’
      • ‘The hip hop female look asks for low waist trendy jeans or skirts to bring attention to the hips and for tight tops to accentuate the chest.’
      • ‘Empire waist and princess seams gave the girls a soft silhouette.’
      • ‘She was wearing a pretty blue shirt with ruffled sleeves and a high waist with lace.’
      • ‘The Pencil High waist, hugs hips and goes below the knees.’
      • ‘It was designed along Grecian lines with a high empire waist, and silver lace trim.’
      • ‘Her dress is made of olive-colored cotton, with long sleeves and a high waist, and falls down to mid-calf.’
      • ‘Guys especially like to see women in low waist pants paired with crop tops.’
      • ‘She had chosen to wear a sage green dress with an empire waist.’
      • ‘From billowing skirts to empire waists, September "InStyle" has fashion covered.’
      • ‘It had an empire waist and lace accents on the sleeves and neckline.’
      • ‘Her bodice was cut slightly off-the-shoulder with short puffed sleeves and a pointed waist.’
      • ‘And for extra room in the seat, try jeans with a low waist, low pockets and a bit of a flare around the ankle.’
      • ‘Are customers trying to tell designers we've had enough of the low rise waist and want to cover it up?’
    5. 1.5US A blouse or bodice.
    6. 1.6 A narrow part in the middle of anything, such as a violin, an hourglass, the body of wasp, etc.
      • ‘The flats currently used appear to be about 0.04 inch too narrow at the waist and 0.04 inch too long.’
      • ‘Wellington, a long almond biscuit, rounded at each end with a narrower waist.’
    7. 1.7 The middle part of a ship, between the forecastle and the quarterdeck.
      • ‘Obediently he trundled off towards Red Diamond's waist, where the starboard watch was gathered.’
      • ‘He stood nonchalantly next to the quarter-deck rail looking into the waist.’
      • ‘Kennedy entered the waist from below decks reaching his hand down the companion to assist her up the steep stairs!’
      • ‘She is 60 ft long and sleeps 10-four in the bow, four in the stern and two in the waist of the ship.’


Late Middle English: apparently representing an Old English word from the Germanic root of wax.