diaphragm ( def 1 ).
the middle part of the body, between the chest and the waist.
the part of a dress or bodice, usually close-fitting, that covers this part of the body.
a garment that exposes this part of the body.
noting or pertaining to the middle part of the human body, the part of a garment that covers it, or a garment that exposes it.

before 1000; Middle English mydryf, Old English midhrif, equivalent to mid(d) mid1 + hrif belly

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World English Dictionary
midriff (ˈmɪdrɪf)
1.  a.  the middle part of the human body, esp between waist and bust
 b.  (as modifier): midriff bulge
2.  anatomy another name for the diaphragm
3.  the part of a woman's garment covering the midriff
4.  (US) a woman's garment which exposes the midriff
[Old English midhrif, from mid1 + hrif belly]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. midhrif, from mid "mid" + hrif "belly," from P.Gmc. *hrefiz- (cf. O.H.G. href, O.Fris. hrif "belly"), from PIE *kwrep- "body, form, appearance" (see corporeal). More or less obsolete after 18c. except in phrase to tickle (one's) midriff "to cause laughter," the word
revived 1941 in fashion usage for "portion of a woman's garment that covers the belly, as a euphemistic avoidance of belly, extended 1970 to a belly-baring style of women's top.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

midriff mid·riff (mĭd'rĭf)
See diaphragm.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
If you follow her career at all, at this point you could probably sketch her
  midriff from memory.
They also should not expose the midriff, back, or have revealing necklines.
Registrants will be responsible for cost of warm-ups, midriff, and bloomers.
Shorts, tank tops, or exposure of the midriff will not be considered to be
  acceptable attire.
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