cor·​set | \ ˈkȯr-sət How to pronounce corset (audio) \

Definition of corset

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually close-fitting and often laced medieval jacket
2 : a woman's close-fitting boned supporting undergarment that is often hooked and laced and that extends from above or beneath the bust or from the waist to below the hips and has garters attached


corseted; corseting; corsets

Definition of corset (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to dress in or fit with a corset
2 : to restrict closely : control rigidly

Examples of corset in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Complicated period costumes—like a corset, for example—may have to be altered so that performers can wear them without anyone’s assistance. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Hollywood is getting back to work with new protocols that could change what we see on screen," 8 June 2020 Over several decades, though, scones in America have morphed from the traditional British archetype — made with flour, leavening and cream; no butter — to become catch-all breakfast breads, like a free-form muffin without the corset-like liner. Los Angeles Times, "Sqirl’s famous scone recipe is now yours for the baking," 29 Apr. 2020 Instead of corsets and boning, Jo wears baggy cotton dresses and plain woolly skirts, paired with men’s waistcoats and collared work shirts. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "How Jacqueline Durran, the “Little Women” Costume Designer, Remixes Styles and Eras," 13 Jan. 2020 Lingerie inspired details were fused into the line through corset-style bras with beautiful seams that contour the body. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Kelly Rowland Releases Third Collection With Fabletics," 7 Jan. 2020 If donning a corset—a functionally restrictive undergarment—signaled the transition to womanhood, then the lessons learned by little girls corseted them in figurative ways. Longreads, "“The Leaky Vessel”: On Lewis Carroll and the Perils of Being Female," 27 Mar. 2020 Esther, who can’t read but can sew like a virtuoso, supports herself by making negligees and corsets for women across the social strata. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Lynn Nottage’s ‘Intimate Apparel’ gets an earnest, solidly acted revival at New Village Arts," 30 Sep. 2019 Chanel was one of the first designers to use jersey fabric in fashionable day wear—dresses and suits and pleated skirts—that moved the dial away from restrictive corsets and useless frills. Time, "1924: Coco Chanel," 5 Mar. 2020 Gone were corsets and the parasols that shielded refined ladies’ delicate complexions from the sun. Reagan Upshaw, Washington Post, "A look back at the elegant highs and the wartime lows of the French Riviera," 5 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The way Sciamma films the relationship between the titular lady (Adèle Haenel) and the painter (Noémie Merlant) who has come to capture her likeness is simply extraordinary: unhurried yet with a sense of urgency, tightly corseted yet sensual. New York Times, "Now Streaming: French Movies for Every Niche," 14 May 2020 My chest tightens up a little, suddenly corseted, and my vision tunnels like one of those old Western photos in which everyone is grim-faced. Hillary Kelly, New York Times, "Desperately Seeking Hope and Help for Your Nerves? Try Reading ‘Hope and Help for Your Nerves’," 26 Mar. 2020 If donning a corset—a functionally restrictive undergarment—signaled the transition to womanhood, then the lessons learned by little girls corseted them in figurative ways. Longreads, "“The Leaky Vessel”: On Lewis Carroll and the Perils of Being Female," 27 Mar. 2020 Who knew that just placing a hand on a woman’s corseted waist would be so scandalizing and induce pearl-clutching? Garrett Mitchell, azcentral, "'Emma.' — A period piece for the 'Clueless' generation with Anya Taylor-Joy," 26 Feb. 2020 The Fenty founder rocked a wasabi green satin corseted cocktail dress with a matching organza shirt, and matching organza gloves. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rihanna Rocks Custom Fenty at the British Fashion Awards," 2 Dec. 2019 The sort of garments that blossom in the imagination and exist outside of time and trend: polka-dot 1940s tea dresses and witchy white robes corseted in crystal spider webs; royal brocade rocker trousers and Midsummer Night’s Dream bias-cut silks. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "What Makes Sustainable Fashion?," 12 Feb. 2020 For women, the new workout gear includes fishnet tights and corseted unitards—gym get-ups yet to reach the local Y or senior center. Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, "Pull-Ups, Sit-Ups Don’t Hurt as Much as These High-Fashion Gym Get-Ups," 2 Feb. 2020 So there was a kind of metamorphosis into this bigger, shapely women, who's very corseted. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Downton Abbey's Costume Designer Shares the Story Behind Edith's Ball Gown," 28 Sep. 2019

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for corset


Middle English, from Anglo-French, diminutive of cors

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Time Traveler for corset

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The first known use of corset was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

16 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Corset.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for corset


How to pronounce corset (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of corset

: a tight, stiff piece of clothing worn by women under other clothing to make their waists appear smaller


cor·​set | \ ˈkȯr-sət How to pronounce corset (audio) \

Kids Definition of corset

: a tight undergarment worn to support or give shape to waist and hips

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Spanish Central: Translation of corset

Nglish: Translation of corset for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of corset for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about corset

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