the part of the body in humans between the ribs and the hips, usually the narrowest part of the torso.
the part of a garment covering this part of the body.
blouse ( def 1 ).
the part of a one-piece garment covering the body from the neck or shoulders more or less to the waistline, especially this part of a woman's or child's garment.
a child's undergarment to which other articles of apparel may be attached.
the part of an object, especially a central or middle part, that resembles or is analogous to the human waist: the waist of a violin.
Nautical. the central part of a ship; that part of the deck between the forecastle and the quarterdeck.
the constricted portion of the abdomen of certain insects, as a wasp.

1300–50; Middle English wast, apocopated variant of wastum, Old English wæstm growth, form, figure; akin to wax2

waistless, adjective

waist, waste.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
waist (weɪst)
1.  anatomy the constricted part of the trunk between the ribs and hips
2.  the part of a garment covering the waist
3.  the middle part of an object that resembles the waist in narrowness or position
4.  the middle part of a ship
5.  Also called: centre section the middle section of an aircraft fuselage
6.  the constriction between the thorax and abdomen in wasps and similar insects
[C14: origin uncertain; related to Old English wæstmwax²]

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. *wæst "growth," hence, perhaps, "where the body grows," from P.Gmc. *wahs-tu- (cf. O.E. wæstm, O.N. vaxtr, Swed. växt, O.H.G. wahst "growth, increase," Goth. wahstus "stature," O.E. weaxan "to grow" see wax (v.)), from PIE *wegs-, extended form of base
*aug- "to increase" (see augment). Meaning "portion of a garment that covers the waist" (but, due to fashion styles, often is above or below it) is from 1650. Waistcoat is attested from 1519. Waistline is attested from 1896.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

waist (wāst)

  1. The part of the human trunk between the bottom of the rib cage and the pelvis.

  2. The middle section or part of an object, especially when narrower than the rest.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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