bod·​ice | \ ˈbä-dəs How to pronounce bodice (audio) \

Definition of bodice

1 : the upper part of a woman's dress
2 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.

Examples of bodice in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Decked out in a floor-length black dress with lace at the sleeves and bodice, the Susan B. Anthony Barbie retails for $29.99. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Mattel adds Susan B. Anthony to its Barbie lineup," 5 Oct. 2020 The knee-length number, which is from the brand’s resort ’17 collection, features ruffled sleeves and a darted bodice. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Rewears a Sunny Dolce & Gabbana Dress from 2018 Wimbledon," 1 Oct. 2020 The actress, who landed a spot on PEOPLE’s 2019 Best Dressed List, wore a custom Vera Wang one shoulder, emerald gown featuring a sheer bodice with a sweetheart neckline and hip-high slit up one side. Hanna Flanagan,, "Zendaya Says She'll 'Pull a Look' and 'Walk Her Living Room Carpet' for the Virtual Emmy Awards," 24 Aug. 2020 Cardi and Megan nailed some provocative choreography in custom Mugler outfits composed of a corset bodice, mesh tights and sleeves and attached over-the-knee boots. Hanna Flanagan,, "The Best Style Moments from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's New 'WAP' Music Video," 7 Aug. 2020 There are decorative buttons down the front of the bodice, and a sweetheart-style neckline that’ll stand out when paired with a subtle necklace. Tanya Ghahremani, Travel + Leisure, "Over 1,500 Amazon Shoppers Call This Summer Dress ‘Comfy’ and ‘Breathable’ — and It’s Only $17," 19 June 2020 One figurehead, showing a woman in a bodice and skirt that had once adorned the frigate HMS Topaze, had undergone so much decay that rot had pervaded 90 percent of its structure, according to the Guardian. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Rescued From Rot, 19th-Century Naval Figureheads to Feature in New Exhibit," 12 Mar. 2020 Along with a floor-grazing silhouette, the trendy piece boasts a ruffled hemline, a shirred bodice that shows off your figure, and an adjustable tie at the waist that helps create a custom fit. Rebecca Carhart,, "This Lightweight Maxi Dress Has Rave Reviews on Amazon — and It’s Less Than $36," 31 July 2020 The fabric is too thick for this weather, the bodice too tight. Seija Rankin,, "Read an exclusive excerpt of The Lion's Den, your next summer escapist novel," 25 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bodice.' 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 bodice

circa 1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bodice

alteration of bodies, plural of body entry 1

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Learn More about bodice

Time Traveler for bodice

Time Traveler

The first known use of bodice was circa 1567

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Statistics for bodice

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bodice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for bodice


How to pronounce bodice (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bodice

: the upper part of a dress


bod·​ice | \ ˈbä-dəs How to pronounce bodice (audio) \

Kids Definition of bodice

: the upper part of a dress

More from Merriam-Webster on bodice

Nglish: Translation of bodice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bodice for Arabic Speakers

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