\ 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 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 two add the engine and legs of a thoroughbred sports sedan to the sport-utility, resulting in SUVs with not just room and girth but also abilities in the twisties and the vast open road on the order of a top sports sedan. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "Turn up the sport, turn down the utility: The 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M," 20 Sep. 2020 In the brief minutes before protective parent Mei Xiang returned, keepers got a read on the cub’s length, girth and weight. Washington Post, "Panda cub more than a month old, seems healthy, zoo said.," 26 Sep. 2020 That’s because the trees, with their thick bark, tremendous girth and high canopy, have been adapted to fire over millions of years and can live through all but the most intense fires. Peter Fimrite,, "As fires race out of control, Big Basin redwoods burn, giant trees at Armstrong under threat," 21 Aug. 2020 Because of this girth, NASA’s Space Launch System rocket cannot even get Orion all the way into low lunar orbit with enough maneuvering capability to get back to Earth. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Could a Dragon spacecraft fly humans to the Moon? It’s complicated," 16 Aug. 2020 Each young tree was chosen based on its height, girth and trunk to create a more realistic saikei, says Cheatle. oregonlive, "Landscapers are busier than ever during the pandemic: People want a private park now," 30 July 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

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Girth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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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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