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A mannequin wearing a bra and a girdle (sense 3).
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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English girdel, gerdel, gurdel, from Old English gyrdel, from Proto-West Germanic *gurdil, from Proto-Germanic *gurdilaz (girdle, belt), equivalent to gird +‎ -le.


girdle (plural girdles)

  1. That which girds, encircles, or encloses; a circumference
  2. A belt or sash at the waist, often used to support stockings or hosiery.
  3. A garment used to hold the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and/or thighs in a particular shape.
  4. The zodiac; also, the equator.
    • 1799, Thomas Campbell, Pleasures of Hope:
      that gems the starry girdle of the year
    • 1782, William Cowper, Expostulation
      from the world's girdle to the frozen pole
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “4. Century.”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
      under the girdle of the world
  5. The line of greatest circumference of a brilliant-cut diamond, at which it is grasped by the setting[2].
  6. (mining) A thin bed or stratum of stone[3].
  7. The clitellum of an earthworm.
  8. The removal or inversion of a ring of bark in order to kill or stunt a tree.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


girdle (third-person singular simple present girdles, present participle girdling, simple past and past participle girdled)

  1. (transitive) To gird, encircle, or constrain by such means.
    • 1920, Edward Carpenter, Pagan and Christian Creeds: Their Origin and Meaning, page 36:
      The Equator, as everyone knows, is an imaginary line or circle girdling the Earth half-way between the North and South poles.
  2. (transitive) To kill or stunt a tree by removing or inverting a ring of bark.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


girdle (plural girdles)

  1. (Scotland, Northern English) Alternative form of griddle


  1. ^ Aeschylus (1926), “Persians”, in , Herbert Weir Smyth, transl., Aeschylus, with an English translation [] , volume 1, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 155
  2. ^ 1874, Edward H. Knight, American Mechanical Dictionary
  3. ^ 1881, Rossiter W. Raymond, A Glossary of Mining and Metallurgical Terms