midriff

noun mid·riff \ ˈmi-ˌdrif \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of midriff

1 : diaphragm 1
2 : the mid-region of the human torso
3 a : a section of a woman's garment that covers the midriff
b : a woman's garment that exposes the midriff

midriff was our Word of the Day on 12/18/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of midriff in a Sentence

  1. She wore a skimpy outfit that showed her bare midriff.

  2. midriff-baring tops are popular this summer

Recent Examples of midriff from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Midriff is now most commonly encountered in the mid-torso or clothing-related senses. These senses are relatively young, having appeared, respectively, in the early 19th and mid-20th centuries. For most of its history, however, midriff has been used to refer to the diaphragm (a large flat muscle separating the lungs from the stomach area). The diaphragm sense has been with us since the earliest known use of midriff in Bald's Leechbook, an Old English medical manuscript that is believed to date back to the 9th century. The riff in midriff comes from Old English hrif ("belly, womb"). Hrif is akin to Old High German href ("womb") and probably also to Latin corpus ("body").

Origin and Etymology of midriff

Middle English midrif, from Old English midhrif, from midde mid + hrif belly; akin to Old High German href womb, and probably to Latin corpus body

midriff Synonyms

Synonyms
middle, midsection, waist, waistline
Related Words
trunk; abdomen, belly, gut, stomach

MIDRIFF Defined for English Language Learners

midriff

noun

Definition of midriff for English Language Learners

  • : the area around a person's middle : the front of a person's body between the chest and the waist


MIDRIFF Defined for Kids

midriff

noun mid·riff \ ˈmid-ˌrif \

Definition of midriff for Students

: the middle part of the human body between the chest and the waist

Medical Dictionary

midriff

noun mid·riff \ ˈmid-ˌrif \

medical Definition of midriff

1 : diaphragm 1
2 : the mid-region of the human torso


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