bi·​ki·​ni | \ bə-ˈkē-nē How to pronounce bikini (audio) \

Definition of bikini

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a woman's scanty two-piece bathing suit
b : a man's brief swimsuit
2 : a man's or woman's low-cut briefs


geographical name
Bi·​ki·​ni | \ bi-ˈkē-nē How to pronounce Bikini (audio) \

Definition of Bikini (Entry 2 of 2)

island (atoll) of the Marshall Islands

Note: Bikini was the site of U.S. atomic bomb tests in 1946 and hydrogen bomb tests in 1954 and 1956.

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Other Words from bikini


bikinied or less commonly bikini'd \ bə-​ˈkē-​nēd How to pronounce bikini'd (audio) \ adjective

Geographical name

Bikinian \ bi-​ˈkē-​nē-​ən How to pronounce Bikinian (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

In July 1946, a US Army–Navy task force detonated two thermonuclear bombs at Bikini, an atoll in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean, and the event dominated news around the world. A French designer, Jacques Heim, used the occasion to introduce a skimpy two-piece bathing suit dubbed l’atome, “the atom.” Another designer, Louis Réard, followed it up with an even smaller suit for which he registered the name bikini. It was first modeled by dancer Micheline Bernardini at a Paris fashion show on July 5. There is no solid evidence for why he gave this name to the suit, but it has since become an international word.

Examples of bikini in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Because cold weather always comes in the company of far-flung frames, model Constance Jablonski shared a bit of beach-y blonde all the way from Jordan's Dead Sea, while Melodie Monrose's bikini body was right at home on a jungled river raft. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "The Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Kylie Jenner Takes Leopard to Lid-Level (and More!)," 18 Nov. 2018 There's the obvious: Unlike Harry's, Flamingo razors are designed to fit the curved areas women tend to shave most, such as our legs, toes, and bikini lines. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "Millennial Razor Brands Are on a Mission to Embrace Body Hair," 16 Oct. 2018 The challenge involved five two-hour bikini body workouts a week, eating healthy meals every two hours, the supplements, and body wraps. Michelle Mulligan, Redbook, "What Happened When I Tried the Best-Selling Weight-Loss Supplements on Amazon," 22 Dec. 2015 While you may be curled up on the couch with your laptop resting on your warmest pajama pants, Kardashian is doing her bargain-hunting poolside in a bikini while getting mom-shamed by dozens of Instagram followers. Marci Robin, Glamour, "Kourtney Kardashian Is Being Mom-Shamed on Instagram for Her Son’s Long Hair," 26 Nov. 2018 On Saturday, the reality star posted a series of photos on Instagram of herself posing in a teeny tiny bikini (and an open puffy coat) in the snow. Marie Claire, "Kourtney Kardashian Wears a Very Naked Shirt Out to Dinner with Scott Disick and Sofia Richie," 1 Jan. 2019 Last week, Appleton shared another pic of Lopez sporting shaggy long hair with bangs covering the front of her yellow aviators, which matched her bikini. Wendy Sy, Allure, "Jennifer Lopez's Mile-Long Pigtails Are a Barbie's Dream," 31 Oct. 2018 Kendall's latest bikini pic is actually a slide show of two different videos showing off her modeling skills. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner's Bikini Video Was Basically a Cute Way to Flirt With Ben Simmons," 10 Jan. 2019 Leon wore a look straight out of the film Blue Crush: electric purple bikini, faded jean short shorts with pockets sticking out from the bottom, and her best blue steel gaze to boot. Vogue, "Lourdes Leon Hits the Beach in Complete Noughties Fashion," 8 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bikini.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bikini


1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bikini


French, from Bikini, atoll of the Marshall Islands

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Dictionary Entries near bikini






bikini wax


Statistics for bikini

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for bikini

The first known use of bikini was in 1947

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More Definitions for bikini



English Language Learners Definition of bikini

: a piece of clothing in two parts that a girl or woman wears for swimming or for lying in the sun and that does not cover much of the body

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More from Merriam-Webster on bikini

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bikini

Spanish Central: Translation of bikini

Nglish: Translation of bikini for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about bikini

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