tank·​i·​ni taŋ-ˈkē-nē How to pronounce tankini (audio)
: a woman's two-piece swimsuit consisting of bikini briefs and a tank top

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The two-piece swimsuit we call the bikini made its debut on Paris runways in 1946. The word bikini comes from Bikini atoll, the name of one of the Marshall Islands in the western Pacific, where atomic-bomb tests were performed in 1946. One theory of the coinage is that the effect achieved by a scantily clad woman appearing in public may be compared to the effect of an A-bomb blast. Another possible explanation is that the bikini leaves its wearer nearly bare, the way the bomb tests stripped Bikini atoll. In 1985, the tankini began appearing on beaches in the U.S., and the word bikini was combined with tank to create its appropriate name.

Examples of tankini in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Take Note: This tankini top has limited support for larger breasts. Maya Polton Updated, Parents, 10 Aug. 2023 The tankini top has an open-back design with adjustable shoulder straps, while the shorts have cinched details and ties on each side. Amy Schulman, Peoplemag, 29 June 2023 This tankini has a stunning V-neck top with ties that go around the neck and mid-rise bottoms to match. Anna Popp, Travel + Leisure, 27 June 2023 If a tankini is more your style, Amazon’s outlet has plenty to sort through. Amanda Oliver, Peoplemag, 9 July 2023 The tankini comes with a flouncy floral top and boyshort bottoms for a secure and full-coverage design. Anna Popp, Travel + Leisure, 27 June 2023 The tankini top features a retro twist on the front and criss-cross straps in the back, which are adjustable to find the best fit for your body. Phoebe Sklansky, Parents, 14 June 2023 The good news is that this list of the best swimsuits for big busts is filled with cute and comfortable options, from skimpy bikinis offering size-inclusive options to stylish one-piece bathing suits and sporty tankinis. Women's Health, 10 May 2023 My headwrap is actually a tankini top. Kelsie Schrader, Curbed, 1 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tankini.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


blend of tank (top) and bikini

First Known Use

1985, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tankini was in 1985


Dictionary Entries Near tankini

Cite this Entry

“Tankini.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tankini. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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