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[kawr-sit] /ˈkɔr sɪt/
Sometimes, corsets. a close-fitting undergarment, stiffened with whalebone or similar material and often capable of being tightened by lacing, enclosing the trunk: worn, especially by women, to shape and support the body; stays.
verb (used with object)
to dress or furnish with or as if with a corset.
to regulate strictly; constrict.
1225-75; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French, equivalent to cors bodice, body + -et -et
Related forms
corsetless, adjective
uncorseted, adjective
well-corseted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for corsets
  • She was in a petticoat now, and corsets which bulged, and unaware of being seen in bulgy corsets.
  • corsets and hoop skirts were constructed from whalebone.
  • The same can be said of budget plans and spending corsets.
  • Bats burst through the floodlights amid ghostly towers held together with rusted iron corsets.
  • Nothing is more essential to the proper costuming of any figure, and especially of a poor one, than the corsets and the lingerie.
  • Braces and corsets help to support your back and keep you from moving it too much.
  • The unwise guidance covers everything from curing alcoholism to lacing corsets.
  • The old hoop skirt was before our day, but corsets and bustles were worn.
British Dictionary definitions for corsets


  1. a stiffened, elasticated, or laced foundation garment, worn esp by women, that usually extends from below the chest to the hips, providing support for the spine and stomach and shaping the figure
  2. a similar garment worn because of injury, weakness, etc, by either sex
(informal) a restriction or limitation, esp government control of bank lending
a stiffened outer bodice worn by either sex, esp in the 16th century
(transitive) to dress or enclose in, or as in, a corset
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, literally: a little bodice; see corselet
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 corsets



c.1300, "kind of laced bodice," from Old French corset (13c.) "bodice, tunic," diminutive of cors "body" (see corps). Meaning "stiff supporting and constricting undergarment" is from 1795.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for corsets



A bulletproof vest; flak jacket (1920s+ Police & underworld)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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