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 Also in red was Sloane Stephens, who wore a fiery gown with a key hole cutout on the bodice and a slit-to-there from Aliétte. Blue Carreon, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 Personal narratives run throughout the journal, with designer Francesca Lake looking to her own childhood obsessions to create a spectacular golden dress with a cross cut-out on the bodice. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 2 Aug. 2021 The bride's second dress featured embroidery on the bodice and goblet-like sleeves. Hanna Flanagan,, 30 Sep. 2021 There are over 100 ways to wear a sari, but the most common style is the Nivi, worn with a fitted bodice and a loose end, called the pallu, draped over the shoulder. Frances Solá-santiago,, 16 Sep. 2021 Eilish channeled Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly in her décolleté-bearing peach gown, which came with a fitted bodice and lengthy tulle train that required the support of four helpers. Hannah Ryan, CNN, 14 Sep. 2021 At the request of the princess, the dress was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who incorporated bows, lace a fitted bodice and squares of antique lace that once belonged to Queen Mary. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Irina Shayk added color to her nude Moschino bodice with a rainbow of flower appliqués. Sarah Boyd, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 For the Fearless look, the singer wore a yellow floral sundress with a corset bodice and tiny bows on the front. Eliza Huber,, 26 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for bodice

Time Traveler

The first known use of bodice was circa 1567

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Dictionary Entries Near bodice



bodice ripper

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Statistics for bodice

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bodice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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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

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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