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[oh-bee; Japanese aw-bee] /ˈoʊ bi; Japanese ˈɔ bi/
noun, plural obis, obi.
a long, broad sash tied about the waist over a Japanese kimono.
1875-80; < Japanese: girdle, gird (v.)


[oh-bee] /ˈoʊ bi/
noun, plural obis.
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for obi
  • In addition, she wears a simple obi, or sash, around her waist.
  • It sits behind the obi with the curved ends visible above and below the obi.
British Dictionary definitions for obi


noun (pl) obis, obi
a broad sash tied in a large flat bow at the back, worn by Japanese women and children as part of the national costume
a narrow sash worn by Japanese men
Word Origin
C19: from Japanese


noun (pl) obis, obeahs
a kind of witchcraft originating in Africa and practised by some West Indians
a charm or amulet used in this
Derived Forms
obiism, noun
Word Origin
of West African origin; compare Edo obi poison
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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Encyclopedia Article for obi

wide sash or belt made of satin or a stiff silk material, worn since ancient times in Japan to secure the kimono. A woman's obi is about 12 feet (370 cm) long and 10 inches (25 cm) wide; a man's obi is about three-fourths as long and one-sixth as wide. The obi is wound around the waist over the kimono and tied at the back.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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