Definition of waist in English:



  • 1The part of the human body below the ribs and above the hips, often narrower than the areas above and below.

    ‘he put an arm around her waist’
    ‘the last time you had a waist was around 1978’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He has one of those narrow, washboard waists that most of us can only dream about.’
    • ‘I plaited her hair so that it fell in one long rope of yellow to her narrow waist.’
    • ‘Her figure was not slim or round, but ideally in the middle, with an hourglass waist.’
    • ‘I once dated a girl who had a very boyish build - a thick waist and no hourglass shape at all.’
    • ‘A tailor will also fit your shirts, which can help make your waist seem narrower and your shoulders broader.’
    • ‘Swimmers with this body type are more muscular, thick-chested with broad shoulders and a smaller waist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘While you might not like the $300 price tag, generally European cuts are far more flattering to guys with narrow waists/shoulders.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A set-in waistband hints at a waist, while the flared hemline softens a boxy shape.’
    • ‘Angers is stood sideways, arms raised to emphasise his waist and ribcage.’
    • ‘The result is that the typical female form is almost straight, in contrast to the narrow waists and curves of the 1950s woman.’
    1. 1.1The circumference of a person's waist.
      ‘her waist has reduced from 35 to 28 inches’
      • ‘How lovely to think that even those with 24-inch waists will be forced to cover them up from now on.’
      • ‘I have lost two inches in my waist through exercise and healthy eating, but that hasn't given me any curves.’
      • ‘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…’
      • ‘Abdominal fat cells happily inflate to accommodate more fuel, widening your waist inch by inch.’
      • ‘The waist circumference thresholds are not reliable in patients with a BMI greater than 35.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm not sure how I managed to gain 5 inches on my waist that fast.’
      • ‘Women with waists measuring 35 inches or greater are considered to be at elevated risk.’
      • ‘Wrapping yourself in seaweed to reduce the size of your waist is another con.’
      • ‘According to a recent UK national sizing survey, women's waists have grown from around 27 inches to a meaty 34 inches since 1951.’
      • ‘Imagine you completely mess up her measurements and overestimate her bust or waist?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In five weeks he has lost 19 lb, his waist has shrunk by two inches and his blood pressure is down.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's guaranteed to help you lose two inches from your waist in just four weeks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We found no evidence of any effect on body mass index or waist:hip ratio.’
    2. 1.2The part of a garment around or covering the waist.
      ‘trousers with an elasticated waist’
      • ‘Pin your creation on your shoulder, at the waist, on a hat or handbag, even on a cuff at the wrist.’
      • ‘Both are very slimming through the hips and the elastic waists are unnoticeable under a top.’
      • ‘Or try a pair of drawstring waist Capri pants that give the same effect.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My jeans have an elastic waist and pockets on the side and larger ones below my knees.’
      • ‘She had a small knife, a dagger, and a pistol tucked into her waist.’
      • ‘This particular form of tailoring is tight and tiny, cut with soft, rounded shoulders, open necklines and small waists which are sometimes belted.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For men, the geometry of jacket lapels, shoulder pads and waist tapering emphasize the strong upper body of a male.’
      • ‘Often featuring a snap front and drawstring waist, this jacket may be lined or unlined.’
      • ‘Flopped before the telly, we slowly expand to fill out the elasticated waist of our new training pants.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Play up your figure with fitted tops, spaghetti-strap blouses and dresses, jackets with cinched waists and sleeveless tanks with round, high necklines.’
      • ‘Jennifer Garner was wearing a pair of khaki pants, pleated at the waist and tapered at the ankle.’
      • ‘Drawstring pants with elastic in the waist allow for a closer fit with added flexibility.’
      • ‘How I manage is buy things with either elastic waists or things that have overblouses.’
      • ‘At that time, women also commonly wore a loose black gown with a gold stripe around the waist and at the hem.’
      • ‘Sara, having no pockets, stuck the paper into the waist of her sweat pants.’
      • ‘It has two zippered side-entry pockets and high-quality ribbing at the waist and cuffs.’
    3. 1.3The point at which a garment is shaped so as to narrow between the ribcage and the hips.
      ‘a jacket with a high waist’
      • ‘Her bodice was cut slightly off-the-shoulder with short puffed sleeves and a pointed waist.’
      • ‘Are customers trying to tell designers we've had enough of the low rise waist and want to cover it up?’
      • ‘It was designed along Grecian lines with a high empire waist, and silver lace trim.’
      • ‘Empire waist and princess seams gave the girls a soft silhouette.’
      • ‘She had chosen to wear a sage green dress with an empire waist.’
      • ‘The Pencil High waist, hugs hips and goes below the knees.’
      • ‘It had an empire waist and lace accents on the sleeves and neckline.’
      • ‘And for extra room in the seat, try jeans with a low waist, low pockets and a bit of a flare around the ankle.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her dress is made of olive-colored cotton, with long sleeves and a high waist, and falls down to mid-calf.’
      • ‘She was wearing a pretty blue shirt with ruffled sleeves and a high waist with lace.’
      • ‘From billowing skirts to empire waists, September "InStyle" has fashion covered.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Guys especially like to see women in low waist pants paired with crop tops.’
  • 2A narrow part in the middle of something, such as a violin or hourglass.

    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1The middle part of a ship, between the forecastle and the quarterdeck.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 3US A blouse or bodice.


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