bod·​ice ˈbä-dəs How to pronounce bodice (audio)
: the upper part of a woman's dress
archaic : corset, stays

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The Fashionable History of Bodice

The term bodice is derived from body. One sense of the word body is “the part of a garment covering the body or trunk.” In the 17th and 18th centuries a woman’s corset was often called a “pair of bodies.” The plural bodies, or bodice, was eventually interpreted as a singular. Bodice is now most often used to refer to the upper part of a woman’s dress.

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Examples of bodice in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, Camila sported a black off-the-shoulder dress featuring sequins on the bodice for the occasion. Emma Aerin Becker, Peoplemag, 7 June 2024 The square-neck design and bustier bodice are so flattering, while the soft cotton material is comfortable enough for all-day wear. Megan Schaltegger, Travel + Leisure, 7 June 2024 The Foxes Photography Embrace the contrast… Instead of, say, hiking gear or even pants, Hayley and Carlie chose to wear classic white wedding gowns with A-line skirts and lacy bodices, as well as long veils, for their big day. Kaitlin Menza, Condé Nast Traveler, 31 Mar. 2023 The corset bodice was covered in beading, and the sleeves featured a delicate fringe trim. Hedy Phillips, Peoplemag, 31 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for bodice 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bodice.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of bodies, plural of body entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bodice was circa 1567

Dictionary Entries Near bodice

Cite this Entry

“Bodice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


bod·​ice ˈbäd-əs How to pronounce bodice (audio)
: the upper part of a dress

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