Simple Definition of midriff
: the area around a person's middle : the front of a person's body between the chest and the waist
Full Definition of midriff
1 : diaphragm 1
2 : the mid-region of the human torso
3 a : a section of a woman's garment that covers the midriff b : a woman's garment that exposes the midriff
Examples of midriff in a sentence
She wore a skimpy outfit that showed her bare midriff.
<midriff-baring tops are popular this summer>
Did You Know?
Midriff is now most commonly encountered in the mid-torso or clothing-related senses. These senses are relatively young, having appeared, respectively, in the early 19th and mid-20th centuries. For most of its history, however, midriff has been used to refer to the diaphragm (a large flat muscle separating the lungs from the stomach area). The diaphragm sense has been with us since the earliest known use of midriff in Bald's Leechbook, an Old English medical manuscript that is believed to date back to the 9th century. The riff in midriff comes from Old English hrif ("belly, womb"). Hrif is akin to Old High German href ("womb") and probably also to Latin corpus ("body").
Origin of midriff
Middle English midrif, from Old English midhrif, from midde mid + hrif belly; akin to Old High German href womb, and probably to Latin corpus body
First Known Use: before 12th century
MIDRIFF Defined for Kids
Definition of midriff for Students
: the middle part of the human body between the chest and the waist
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up midriff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).