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 The top, the bottoms, and the matching bikini top all come from celeb-favorite swimwear brand, Frankies Bikinis. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Hailey Baldwin Wore the Cutest '00s Terry Cloth Bikini - Here’s Where You Can Buy It," 6 Aug. 2020 These pre-loaded wax strips from Sally Hansen come in three different sizes that are perfect for waxing sensitive areas like your face and bikini line. Samantha Driscoll, Better Homes & Gardens, "These 4 At-Home Waxing Products are Perfect for Beginners," 4 Aug. 2020 Ben and Regina Lyles opened the first location of Bikini Beans, a drive-through coffee shop staffed by bikini-wearing baristas, in 2014. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, "This Arizona coffee chain is being sued for allegedly failing to pay employees properly," 3 Aug. 2020 Meanwhile, Stallion donned a tiny black bikini and hoop earrings for the poolside shindig. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner and Megan Thee Stallion Hung Out at a Pool Party Together," 13 July 2020 Was the handle comfortable to hold, particularly when shaving in different directions for areas like the underarms and the bikini line? Deanna Pai, CNN Underscored, "The best women’s razors of 2020," 9 July 2020 Carrie Underwood's latest bikini selfie revealed something fans want even more than her adorable swimsuit —a luxurious walk-in closet, complete with a washer and dryer! Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood's Bikini Instagram Features a Super-Smart Closet Hack and Yes, We're Jealous," 28 June 2020 Was the handle comfortable to hold, particularly when shaving in different directions for areas like the underarms and the bikini line? Deanna Pai, CNN Underscored, "The best women’s razors of 2020," 9 July 2020 Kardashian's bikini selfies come shortly after brother-in-law Kanye West announced his unlikely run for president via Twitter on July 4. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Kourtney Kardashian Snaps a Mirror Selfie While Wearing a Teal String Bikini," 13 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for bikini

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The first known use of bikini was in 1947

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bikini.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bikini


How to pronounce Bikini (audio)

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

Spanish Central: Translation of bikini

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

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