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brassiere

[bruh-zeer] /brəˈzɪər/
noun
1.
a woman's undergarment for supporting the breasts.
Also, brassière.
Also called bra.
Origin
1910-1915
1910-15; < French brassière bodice worn as an undergarment to support the breasts (now obsolete in this sense), Middle French bracieres camisole, Old French: armor for the arms, equivalent to bras arm (see brace) + -ière, suffix added to body part nouns, the resultant derivative denoting an article for that part < Latin -āria -ary
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for brassiere

brassiere

/ˈbræsɪə; ˈbræz-/
noun
1.
a woman's undergarment for covering and supporting the breasts Often shortened to bra
Word Origin
C20: from C17 French: bodice, from Old French braciere a protector for the arm, from braz arm
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 brassiere
n.

18c., "woman's underbodice," from French brassière "child's chemise; shoulder strap" (17c.), from Old French braciere "arm guard" (14c.), from bras "an arm," from Latin bracchium (see brace (n.)). Modern use is a euphemistic borrowing employed in the garment trade by 1902.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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