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

Example Sentences

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
Saturn isn’t the only ringed planet in our solar system, but its girdle of ice and dust is by far the most spectacular. Aylin Woodward, WSJ, 15 Sep. 2022 As the Lapith tribe carried the gift of a girdle to the shrine of Artemis, centaurs tried to abduct the Lapith women. Dominic Green, WSJ, 19 Aug. 2022 The answers to my questions were contemplative and self-aware paragraphs, as if the girdle of poetic form had been loosened. Danny Freedman, Outside Online, 8 July 2022 That includes the transverse abdominis, one of the deepest abdominal muscles, which wraps around the lower torso like a girdle. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, 16 May 2021 And unlike a bezel setting, where a diamond is set into a bed of metal that circles the diamond at the girdle, the bottom of a Floeting setting is open on four sides to allow light to enter. Carol Besler, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 Some 30 amulets and a unique gold girdle were found within the wrappings. Katie Hunt, CNN, 28 Dec. 2021 Like an invisible setting, grooves are laser cut into the diamond just below the girdle. Carol Besler, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 As Camelot crumbles around him, Gawain pulls off the magical girdle that has kept him safe from harm — and his head rolls clean off. Nate Jones, Vulture, 10 Aug. 2021
Verb
Circling roots can also girdle and kill a tree years after it was planted. oregonlive, 28 Aug. 2021 If left unchecked, the stems can girdle a small tree or shrub. Janet Carson, Arkansas Online, 28 Aug. 2022 Too tight tree stakes and straps around the trunk or branches can girdle a tree too. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 July 2022 Roots growing in that way strangle, or girdle, the tree. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Apr. 2022 So when the developer of Oakland’s newest waterfront park wants to girdle it with 10 acres of private boat slips, the only polite response is — not so fast. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Oct. 2021 The spots rapidly enlarge to form purplish black lesions, which girdle the stems and leaves, killing the foliage. oregonlive, 11 Aug. 2021 The spots rapidly enlarge to form purplish black lesions, which girdle the stems and leaves, killing the foliage. oregonlive, 11 Aug. 2021 The spots rapidly enlarge to form purplish black lesions, which girdle the stems and leaves, killing the foliage. oregonlive, 11 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'girdle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 26 Nov. 2022.

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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