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Inherited from Middle English stomakere, stomachere, perhaps after Anglo-Norman *estomachier. Equivalent to stomach +‎ -er.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈstʌməkə/, /ˈstʌmətʃə/


stomacher (plural stomachers)

  1. (obsolete) A type of men's waistcoat. [15th–18th c.]
  2. (now chiefly historical) An ornamental cloth, often embellished with embroidery or jewelry, worn over the chest by women beneath their bodices or by men and women as the central part of an open shirt, blouse, or jacket.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Isaiah 3:24:
      And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher [translating ⁧פְּתִיגִיל⁩] a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
    • 1851, Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851, Official descriptive and illustrated catalogue: Volume 2, page 689:
      Stomacher brooch of brilliants and fine oriental pearls.
    • 1852 March – 1853 September, Charles Dickens, Bleak House, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1853, →OCLC:
      She is a fine old lady, handsome, stately, wonderfully neat, and has such a back and such a stomacher that if her stays should turn out when she dies to have been a broad old-fashioned family fire-grate, nobody who knows her would have cause to be surprised.
    • 1891, Oscar Wilde, chapter XI, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, London, New York, N.Y., Melbourne, Vic.: Ward Lock & Co., →OCLC:
      Here, from the fading canvas, smiled Lady Elizabeth Devereux, in her gauze hood, pearl stomacher, and pink slashed sleeves.
    • 1964, Mona Curran, Collecting Antique Jewellery[1], Emerson Books, page 76:
      From about 1850 onwards jewellery varied between these outsize sprays, stomachers and corsage montages and smaller, more delicate pieces which appeared almost understated by contrast.
    • 2006, Judith Pascoe, The Hummingbird Cabinet, Cornell University Press,, →ISBN, page 58:
      The most striking accessory of all, however, was a diamond stomacher, a kind of lapidary bib that covered the princess's chest and stomach. We do not know exactly what Charlotte was thinking as she stood under the weight of silver, ermine, velvet, and jewels. But we know what many who saw her thought about her stomacher.
  3. A similar item of mail worn over and protecting the stomach.
    • 2013 October 18, Eileen Gunn, Questionable Practices: Stories, Small Beer Press, →ISBN:
      Over it he placed a chain mail stomacher. Then, atop all, he strapped on an item of shaped metal he called a tace. “There,”he said at last. “She might knock the windout of you, but she won't kill you.”
    • 2019 January 1, Geraldine McCaughrean, Vainglory: Can anything stop the Gloriole family achieving power?, Mereo Books, →ISBN, page 127:
      Irritated to find his way barred by a brace of Englishmen, Victoire took one below the ear and the other low down, through the mail stomacher, before tramping on into the shade of a tree and sitting down with his back to the trunk.
  4. A blow to the stomach.
    • 1751, [Tobias] Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to IV), London: Harrison and Co., [], →OCLC:
      Thomas resenting such ungenerous behaviour, bestowed such a stomacher upon the officious intermeddler, as discomposed the whole œconomy of his entrails, and obliged him to discharge the interjection ah! with demonstration of great anguish and amazement.






  1. first-person singular present active subjunctive of stomachor

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of stomakere