\ˈwāst \

Definition of waist 

1a : the typically narrowed part of the body between the hips and chest or upper back put his arm around her waist

b : the greatly constricted basal part of the abdomen of some insects (such as wasps and flies)

2 : the part of something corresponding to or resembling the human waist: such as

a(1) : the part of a ship's deck between the poop and forecastle

(2) : the middle part of a sailing ship between foremast and mainmast

b : the middle section of the fuselage of an airplane

3 : a garment or the part of a garment covering the body from the neck to the waistline or just below:

a : bodice sense 1

b : blouse

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Other Words from waist

waisted \ ˈwā-​stəd \ adjective

Examples of waist in a Sentence

He has a narrow waist and broad shoulders. He put his arm around her waist. These pants have an elastic waist. The waist of this skirt is too tight.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Stedman said Mirack was found with her clothing pulled down from her waist, her shoes removed and the clothing on her torso was pushed up. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Suspected killer of Christy Mirack charged 25 years later in Pennsylvania," 25 June 2018 The four victims, who between them suffered gunshot wounds to their waists, shoulders, thighs, and buttocks, were taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where they were listed in stable condition Friday morning. Katherine Nails, Philly.com, "At least 9 wounded over 4 hours in Philly shootings," 15 June 2018 Had to wad back to shop in water up to our waists, as tide had started to come back in. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Service Diary of a Corpsman: Roy L. Wall, LST 509," 28 May 2018 As Nevins points out, the doll’s figure has been tweaked several times during her almost 60-year history: her breasts enlarged, her waist taken in. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Can Barbie Really Have It All?," 1 May 2018 On March 8, Riverdale stars Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes slammed Cosmopolitan Philippines for altering their waists. Dory Jackson, Newsweek, "Elizabeth Olsen Accuses 'Empire Magazine' of Retouching Her on 'Avengers' Cover," 21 Mar. 2018 The gunman looked at the 17-year-old and demanded the watch around his wrist and Gucci belt at his waist. Washington Post, "Teen killed for his watch and Gucci belt, police said," 9 July 2018 In November 2010, a teacher found bruises on Abigail, then 6, across her sternum to her belly button and from her mid-back down to the waist of her jeans, according to an Alexandria police report. Joe Heim And Julie Tate, chicagotribune.com, "As children begged for help, adoption system failed them," 13 July 2018 His quads are the size of my waist and whole upper body. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Even Eli Manning can't stop staring at Saquon Barkley's massive legs," 10 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for waist

Middle English wast; probably akin to Old English wæstm growth, weaxan to grow — more at wax

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Statistics for waist

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for waist

The first known use of waist was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for waist



English Language Learners Definition of waist

: the middle part of your body between the hips and chest or upper back that is usually narrower than the areas above and below it

: the part of a piece of clothing that fits around your waist


\ˈwāst \

Kids Definition of waist

1 : the part of the body between the hips and chest or upper back

2 : the part of a garment that fits around a person's waist


\ˈwāst \

Medical Definition of waist 

: the typically narrowed part of the body between the thorax and hips

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Comments on waist

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something that serves to warn or remind

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