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

The dress’s dazzling bodice has a metallic glint, as if it was spun from strands of 22-karat gold. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "‘The dress comes out of pain’: Patience Torlowei creates fashion from the highs and lows of modern Africa," 22 Aug. 2019 Beyoncé opted for a yellow gown for the premiere and the dress was truly unique in a number of ways, from it's asymmetrical neckline with one cap sleeve and one off-the-shoulder sleeve to the triangle cut-out in the bodice. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Beyoncé Wears a Gorgeous Yellow Dress with a Jaw-Dropping Leg Slit to 'The Lion King' Premiere in London," 14 July 2019 Knightley was ethereal in the garment, which featured an off-the-shoulder tweed bodice and highlighted her natural, mom-to-be glow. Vogue, "Keira Knightley Reveals Her Baby Bump in Not One, but Two Chanel Dresses," 3 May 2019 The result was a collaboration between the designer and his son Zaheen; a deep V-neck gown with an Indian paisley bodice and sleeves, fading into sharp florals at the skirt and train. John Dolan, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Couple Didn't Believe in Love at First Sight–Until It Happened to Them," 6 Aug. 2018 The elegant tea-length gown by Jason Wu Collection was minimalist and chic, featuring mesh paneling and sleeves with a black bodice and skirt. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Wore an Elegant Jason Wu LBD for Her First Red Carpet With Prince Harry," 14 July 2019 Another breathtaking piece was an Alexander McQueen toile with a feather bodice, from the mid-2000s. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "William Vintage Celebrates Its New, Incredibly Chic CEO Marie Blanchet at an Intimate Dinner," 10 Apr. 2019 Think: ruffles, puffed sleeves, with slender bodices. Teen Vogue, "From Kylie Jenner to Rowan Blanchard, Milkmaid Fashion Is the New Trend We Can't Get Enough Of," 16 Aug. 2019 There’s a dress with a bodice that’s part of a quilt, which is sewn onto a skirt made of antique table napkins. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "Conner Ives—Central Saint Martins Student and Fenty “Intern”—Is Now Selling His Upcycled Clothes," 29 July 2019

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

17 Sep 2019

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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 How to pronounce bodice (audio) \

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).


to make a temporary encampment

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