Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[bih-kee-nee] /bɪˈki ni/
noun, plural bikinis.
a very brief, close-fitting, two-piece bathing suit for women or girls.
a very brief, close-fitting pair of bathing trunks for men or boys.
Often, bikinis. underwear briefs that are fitted low on the hip or below it.
1945-50; < French, apparently named after Bikini


[bih-kee-nee] /bɪˈki ni/
an atoll in the N Pacific, in the Marshall Islands: atomic bomb tests 1946. 3 sq. mi. (8 sq. km). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for bikini
  • For women, wearing a bikini signaled a kind of second liberation.
  • Throughout its history, the bikini has spawned many stylistic variations.
  • String bikini tops are similar and are tied in place by the attached string pieces.
  • A string bikini or thong is also a type of undergarment worn by both men and women.
  • The term is used for different styles of onepiece swimsuits inspired by the bikini.
  • Many women who wanted to sunbathe topless simply wore the bottom part of a bikini.
  • The tankini is a swimsuit combining a tank top and a bikini bottom.
  • The word is a neologism combining the tank of tank top with the end of the word bikini.
  • Cosmetically the scar for modern caesareans is below the bikini line.
British Dictionary definitions for bikini


noun (pl) -nis
a woman's very brief two-piece swimming costume
Word Origin
C20: after Bikini atoll, from a comparison between the devastating effect of the atomic-bomb test and the effect caused by women wearing bikinis


an atoll in the N Pacific; one of the Marshall Islands: site of a US atomic-bomb test in 1946
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bikini

"low-waisted two-piece women's bathing suit," 1948, from French coinage, 1947, named for U.S. A-bomb test of June 1946 on Bikini, Marshall Islands atoll, locally Pikinni and said to derive from pik "surface" and ni "coconut," but this is uncertain. Various explanations for the swimsuit name have been suggested, none convincingly, the best being an analogy of the explosive force of the bomb and the impact of the bathing suit style on men's libidos (cf. c.1900 British slang assassin "an ornamental bow worn on the female breast," so called because it was very "killing").

Bikini, ce mot cinglant comme l'explosion même ... correspondant au niveau du vêtement de plage à on anéantissement de la surface vêtue; à une minimisation extrême de la pudeur. [Le Monde, 1947]
As a style of scanty briefs, from 1960. Variant trikini (1967), with separate bra cups held on by Velcro, falsely presumes a compound in bi-.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bikini

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bikini

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with bikini

Nearby words for bikini