bod·​ice | \ˈbä-dəs \

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

The corseted bodice covered in pearls and gold accents was a showstopper, but the decorative ruff and billowing sleeves may have been the most interesting elements. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Lady Gaga’s Elizabethan Alexander McQueen Gown Has to Be Seen to Be Believed," 27 Sep. 2018 The fiery red bodice features strips of fabric crisscrossing over one another and creating tiny cutouts across Lakshmi's torso, while the drapey skirt flows all the way to the floor. Andrea Park, Allure, "Padma Lakshmi Explains Why She Re-Wore Her J. Mendel Gown to the 2018 Emmys," 17 Sep. 2018 Place the star stencil just below the middle of the bodice and lightly brush black paint around the edges. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "How to Make a Moana Costume for Halloween," 1 Aug. 2018 The star chose a floral-print Zimmermann day dress featuring a plunging neckline, corset-style bodice and ruffled skirt. Colleen Kratofil,, "Beyoncé Wears Flirty Mini Dress to A Wrinkle in Time Premiere Alongside Daughter Blue Ivy," 1 Mar. 2018 There are simple, neutral colors woven into a cable-knit, while others feature corset-like detailing at the bodice, pastel hues, and bright stripes. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Pouf! Just Like That, the Balloon-Sleeved Sweater Is Back for Winter," 12 Nov. 2018 Both have sheer fabric, a belt detail, and ruching at the bodice. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The Hidden Detail You Missed About Carrie Underwood’s AMA Red Carpet Dress," 10 Oct. 2018 An intricate lace pattern of scrollwork, leaves and vines adorned the bodice, cascading down the front panel of the dress and continuing in a wide band around the hem. Sue Strachan,, "Rex, Comus continue 100-plus year tradition at their Carnival balls," 14 Feb. 2018 In less than two months, Outlander is returning to the small screen, and now Starz has released the first full-length look at what's in store for everyone's favorite time-traveling bodice-ripper. Emily Wang, Glamour, "The First Full Trailer For Outlander Season 4 Is Here and It's ... a Lot," 10 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for bodice

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bodice

The first known use of bodice was circa 1567

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More Definitions for bodice



English Language Learners Definition of bodice

: the upper part of a dress


bod·​ice | \ˈbä-dəs \

Kids Definition of bodice

: the upper part of a dress

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More from Merriam-Webster on bodice

Spanish Central: Translation of bodice

Nglish: Translation of bodice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bodice for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bodice

What made you want to look up bodice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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