noun, plural bikinis.
a very brief, close-fitting, two-piece bathing suit for women or girls.
a very brief, close-fitting pair of bathing trunks for men or boys.
Often, bikinis. underwear briefs that are fitted low on the hip or below it.

1945–50; < French, apparently named after Bikini Unabridged


an atoll in the N Pacific, in the Marshall Islands: atomic bomb tests 1946. 3 sq. mi. (8 sq. km). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bikini (bɪˈkiːnɪ)
n , pl -nis
a woman's very brief two-piece swimming costume
[C20: after Bikini atoll, from a comparison between the devastating effect of the atomic-bomb test and the effect caused by women wearing bikinis]

Bikini (bɪˈkiːnɪ)
an atoll in the N Pacific; one of the Marshall Islands: site of a US atomic-bomb test in 1946

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

1948, from Fr. coinage, 1947, named for U.S. A-bomb test of June 1946 on Bikini, Marshall Islands atoll, locally Pikinni and said to derive from pik "surface" and ni "coconut," but this is uncertain. Various explanations for the swimsuit name have been suggested, none convincingly, the best being an
analogy of the explosive force of the bomb and the impact of the bathing suit style on men's libidos (cf. c.1900 British slang assassin "an ornamental bow worn on the female breast," so called because it was very "killing").
"Bikini, ce mot cinglant comme l'explosion même ... correspondant au niveau du vêtement de plage à on anéantissement de la surface vêtue; à une minimisation extrême de la pudeur." [Le Monde, 1947]
Variant style trikini (1967), with separate bra cups held on by Velcro, falsely presumes a compound in bi-.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for bikini
For women, wearing a bikini signaled a kind of second liberation.
Throughout its history, the bikini has spawned many stylistic variations.
String bikini tops are similar and are tied in place by the attached string
A string bikini or thong is also a type of undergarment worn by both men and
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