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A girdle.


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English girdel, gerdel, gurdel, from Old English gyrdel, from Proto-Germanic *gurdilaz (girdle, belt), equivalent to gird +‎ -le. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Gäddel (belt), West Frisian gurdle, gurle, gurl (belt), Dutch gordel (belt), German Gürtel (belt), Yiddish גאַרטל(gartl, belt) (whence English gartel), Swedish gördel (girdle), Icelandic gyrðill (girdle).


girdle (plural girdles)

  1. That which girds, encircles, or encloses; a circumference
  2. A belt or elasticated corset; especially, a belt, sash, or article of dress encircling the body usually at the waist, often used to support stockings or hosiery.
  3. 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: [] VVilliam Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], OCLC 1044372886:
      under the girdle of the world
  4. The line of greatest circumference of a brilliant-cut diamond, at which it is grasped by the setting.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  5. (mining) A thin bed or stratum of stone[1].
  6. The clitellum of an earthworm.
  7. The removal or inversion of a ring of bark in order to kill or stunt a tree.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Derived terms[edit]


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.

Etymology 2[edit]


girdle (plural girdles)

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


  1. ^ 1881, Rossiter W. Raymond, A Glossary of Mining and Metallurgical Terms