\ ˈgərth How to pronounce girth (audio) \

Definition of girth

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a band or strap that encircles the body of an animal to fasten something (such as a saddle) on its back
2a : a measure around a body a man of more than average girth the girth of a tree


girthed; girthing; girths

Definition of girth (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

2 : to bind or fasten with a band or strap
3 : to measure around the body of something

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Synonyms & Antonyms for girth

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of girth in a Sentence

Noun The tree is about two meters in girth. a person of large girth a girth of about two meters Verb you'll need to make sure you girth the saddle tightly or you'll fall off the horse his arms couldn't quite girth the stone column
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Knutson’s muskie measured 56 1/2 inches long with a 27-inch girth. Steve Heiting, Outdoor Life, "The Greatest Day in Minnesota Muskie Fishing History," 28 Dec. 2020 The monster cats, sometimes over 4 feet long and with a girth over 3 feet, put up an impressive battle, especially in high current flow areas. Frank Sargeant, al, "Winter Giants of the TVA Lakes," 20 Dec. 2020 Altogether, a thorough forensic analysis conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard concluded that the Golden Ray took on 1000 metric tons more cargo—not all in Telluride girth, of course. Andrew Lawrence, Car and Driver, "Cargo Ship Traded Subcompacts for Kia Tellurides before Capsizing," 9 Dec. 2020 Beard was large in frame and girth, and his appetites were equally outsize. Washington Post, "James Beard’s outsize appetites and carefully hidden secrets," 23 Oct. 2020 Worst: Bingham continues to be limited by his lack of girth and muscle, which negates his height advantage. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "For Michigan State basketball, these are the Spartans' best- and worst-case scenarios," 25 Nov. 2020 Still, the sheer size of this Hummer EV dwarfs the rest of these vehicles, not much in length, but in girth. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "If the 2022 GMC Hummer Is a Supertruck, What Are Its Super-Competitors?," 21 Oct. 2020 Its girth has also grown, from 13.7 inches, to 15.9 inches. Washington Post, "Zoo’s giant panda cub now an open-eyed 8 weeks old, keepers say," 17 Oct. 2020 An Orlando Sentinel Special Report Hidden in shady solitude of Split Oak Forest is an oak tree cleaved in half, perhaps by lightning or its own monumental girth. Kevin Spear,, "Saving Split Oak Forest: A Bruising Environmental Battle on the Ballot," 16 Oct. 2020

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for girth


Middle English gerth, girth "belt securing a horse's saddle, hoop around a barrel or tub," borrowed from Old Norse *gerðu-, base of gjǫrð "belt, girth," going back to Germanic *gerđō (whence also Middle Dutch darmgherde "girth," Gothic gairda "belt"), from an e-grade derivative of the root seen in *gurđjan- "to encircle with a belt" — more at gird entry 1


Middle English gerthen, girthen, derivative of gerth, girth girth entry 1

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Time Traveler for girth

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for girth

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Girth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for girth


How to pronounce girth (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of girth

: the size of someone or something measured around the middle
: a band or strap placed around the body of an animal (such as a horse) to hold something (such as a saddle) on its back


\ ˈgərth How to pronounce girth (audio) \

Kids Definition of girth

1 : the measure or distance around something the girth of a tree
2 : a band put around the body of an animal to hold something (as a saddle) on its back


\ ˈgərth How to pronounce girth (audio) \

Medical Definition of girth

: a measure around a body

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Comments on girth

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