girdle

1 of 2

noun

gir·​dle ˈgər-dᵊl How to pronounce girdle (audio)
1
: something that encircles or confines: such as
a
: an article of dress encircling the body usually at the waist
b
: a woman's close-fitting undergarment often boned and usually elasticized that extends from the waist to below the hips
2
: the edge of a brilliant that is grasped by the setting see brilliant illustration

girdle

2 of 2

verb

girdled; girdling ˈgər-dᵊl-iŋ How to pronounce girdle (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to encircle with or as if with a girdle
2
: to cut away the bark and cambium in a ring around (a plant) usually to kill by interrupting the circulation of water and nutrients
3
: to move around : circle
girdled the world

Examples of girdle in a Sentence

Noun drew a handkerchief from the girdle around her waist and offered it to the knight as a token of affection Verb the rings that girdle the planet Saturn trees girdled the campus, essentially hiding it from view
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Usually placed on the stone’s girdle (a narrow band at the outer perimeter, dividing upper and lower sections), these have been on offer from grading labs and other providers since the 1980s. Tim Barber, WIRED, 27 Nov. 2023 All clothing sizes have changed: Vintage shoes are narrower than shoes are today, jackets fit differently, and girdles are gone. Linda Marx, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2023 The company was more famous for designing Playtex bras and girdles, a niche which helped the company’s designers create rubber garments that could survive the perilous elements of space, Chaikin wrote. Ryan Hogg, Fortune, 6 Oct. 2023 These foundational items and underpinnings include an array of petticoats, girdles, bras, garters, and slips. Emma Fraser, ELLE, 27 May 2023 Preferring to make sartorial choices free of girdles or contouring brushes, Susie assumed others who saw her next to her college sweetheart — the sophisticated and well-coiffed Hedy (Nina Arianda) — imagined a woman walking a dog. Whitney Friedlander, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2023 Special to the Courier Journal Core muscles wrap around the midsection like a girdle, forming a connecting link between the upper and lower body. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 25 May 2023 Flying his drone over the area, Pulapa could see the impact of human activities – pollution, plastic waste and mangrove clearance – but this picture seemed to sum up the protective, nurturing girdle that mangroves provide for such storm-prone tropical communities. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 12 Sep. 2021 Sherman-Palladino holds those answers more tightly than Midge's girdle, but the cast is willing to expose a little leg for our benefit. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 11 Apr. 2023
Verb
In 2021, the base was girdled by thick steel cables and wooden planks (picture oversized dental braces), and the dozens of sensors and other monitoring instruments that now pick up even minute shifts. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024 Trees also can be damaged or girdled by a slack line play set — a set of swings, ladders and other play equipment suspended from a rope that is often tied between two trees. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 20 Aug. 2023 Some 40 million miles of roadways girdle our planet, four million of which enfold the United States. Ben Goldfarb, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Feb. 2024 Courtyard areas around the side and rear of the residence include a several terraces and a secluded spa set into a brick terrace tightly girdled by tall hedges for celebrity-style privacy. James McClain, Robb Report, 16 Dec. 2023 Most of the damage is minor but two trees were girdled, with bark shredded all the way around the trunk. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2023 The disease often infects branches on sycamores, causing girdling cankers and dieback. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 5 Aug. 2023 Even a ribbon made of non-biodegradable plastic tied around a tree trunk can girdle a tree if it is not promptly removed. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 20 Aug. 2023 Eventually girdling roots can cut off the circulation of parts of the tree and the top growth above the root will die. oregonlive, 24 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'girdle.' 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

Noun

Middle English girdel, gurdel "belt, baldric," going back to Old English gyrdel "belt, part of the body encircled by a belt," going back to Germanic *gurđila- (whence also Old Frisian gerdel "belt, girdle," Old High German gurtil, Old Norse gyrðill), instrumental derivative from *gurđjan- "to encircle with a belt" — more at gird entry 1

Verb

derivative of girdle entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of girdle was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near girdle

Cite this Entry

“Girdle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/girdle. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

girdle

1 of 2 noun
gir·​dle ˈgərd-ᵊl How to pronounce girdle (audio)
1
: a belt or sash encircling the waist
2
: a light corset worn below the waist
3
: a bony arch that supports an arm or leg

girdle

2 of 2 verb
girdled; girdling ˈgərd-liŋ How to pronounce girdle (audio)
-ᵊl-iŋ
1
: to bind or encircle with or as if with a girdle : circle
2
: to cut away the bark and cambium in a ring around (a plant) usually in order to kill by stopping the circulation of water and food

Medical Definition

girdle

noun
gir·​dle ˈgərd-ᵊ1 How to pronounce girdle (audio)
: either of two more or less complete bony rings at the anterior and posterior ends of the vertebrate trunk supporting the arms and legs respectively:

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