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[bod-is] /ˈbɒd ɪs/
a usually fitted vest or wide, lace-up girdle worn by women over a dress or blouse, especially a cross-laced, sleeveless outer garment covering the waist and bust, common in peasant dress.
the part of a woman's dress covering the body between the neck or shoulders and the waist.
Compare waist (def 4).
Obsolete. stays or a corset.
Origin of bodice
1560-70; bodies, plural of body Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bodice
  • Her low-cut bodice emphasised her round shoulders and her high firm breasts.
  • The gown had a thousand flounces and a saucy bodice of crocheted lace.
  • Her upper lip pressed secretively against her lower one, and a red bodice peeked out from underneath a green dress.
  • It was a horrendous job-for instance, the bodice had been glued to the wax torso and then partly smeared with more wax.
  • The spaghetti was in her hair, around her neck, slipping down into the bodice of her dress.
  • What with the tourniquet of a tight bodice or the suffocating scaffolding bra beneath, all available flab is forced up.
  • Frequently these dresses featured a high-waisted bodice that was gathered and adjusted by means of a drawstring.
  • The shirred bodice is belted with a ribbon, and has jacket fronts, which are quite novel.
  • Bar ton wore an exquisite gown of pale blue brocaded satin with bodice garniture of pale blue chiffon.
  • bodice: the bodice of a garment is the area above the waist, such as the upper part of a dress or jumpsuit.
British Dictionary definitions for bodice


the upper part of a woman's dress, from the shoulder to the waist
a tight-fitting corset worn laced over a blouse, as in certain national costumes, or (formerly) as a woman's undergarment
Word Origin
C16: originally Scottish bodies, plural of body
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
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Word Origin and History for bodice

1560s, oddly spelled plural of body, name of a tight-fitting Elizabethan garment covering the torso; plural because the body came in two parts which fastened in the middle. Bodice-ripper for "racy romance novel" is from 1981.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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