embonpoint

noun

em·​bon·​point äⁿ-bōⁿ-ˈpwaⁿ How to pronounce embonpoint (audio)
: plumpness of person : stoutness

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Embonpoint is most often used to describe people of heavy, but not unattractive, girth. It derives from "en bon point," a phrase from Middle French that means "in good condition." The word was first used as a noun in English in the 17th century. It has subsequently appeared in works by Charlotte Brontë ("a form decidedly inclined to embonpoint" - Shirley), James Fenimore Cooper ("an embonpoint that was just sufficient to distinguish her from most of her companions" - Home as Found), and George Eliot ("as erect in her comely embonpoint as a statue of Ceres" - Adam Bede), among others.

Examples of embonpoint in a Sentence

clothes for women who may be inclined to embonpoint but who still want to look stylish
Recent Examples on the Web The pop of a Krispy Kreme sign and the tan embonpoint / Of Scotch bottles after customs to caress. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 10 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'embonpoint.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French, from Middle French, from en bon point in good condition

First Known Use

1670, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of embonpoint was in 1670

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Dictionary Entries Near embonpoint

Cite this Entry

“Embonpoint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embonpoint. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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