midriff (n.) O.E. midhrif, from mid "mid" (see MID (Cf. mid)) + hrif "belly," from P.Gmc. *hrefiz- (Cf. O.H.G. href, O.Fris. hrif "belly"), from PIE *kwrep- "body, form, appearance" (see CORPOREAL (Cf. 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 (Cf. belly); sense inverted and extended 1970 to a belly-baring style of women's top.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Midriff — Mid riff (m[i^]d r[i^]f), n. [AS. midhrif; midd mid, middle + hrif bowels, womb; akin to OFries. midref midriff, rif, ref, belly, OHG. href body, and to L. corpus body. See {Corpse}.] (Anat.) 1. See {Diaphragm}, n., 2. [1913 Webster] 2. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • midriff — ► NOUN ▪ the front of the body between the chest and the waist. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • midriff — [mid′rif] n. [ME mydrif < OE midhrif < midd (see MID1) + hrif, belly (akin to OHG href, body) < IE base * krep , body > L corpus] 1. DIAPHRAGM (sense 1) 2. a) the middle part of the torso, between the abdomen and the chest …   English World dictionary

  • Midriff — Clothing showing midriff Midriff is a particular term to denominate the section of the human body between the thorax/chest and the pelvis/hips. It is used (1) as a genteel avoidance of synonymous belly (with its primary external physical feature …   Wikipedia

  • midriff — n. 1) to expose one s midriff 2) a bare midriff * * * [ mɪdrɪf] a bare midriff to expose one s midriff …   Combinatory dictionary

  • midriff — noun Etymology: Middle English midrif, from Old English midhrif, from midde mid + hrif belly; akin to Old High German href womb, and probably to Latin corpus body Date: before 12th century 1. diaphragm 1 2. the mid region of the human torso 3. a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • midriff — [[t]mɪ̱drɪf[/t]] midriffs N COUNT: usu sing Someone s midriff is the middle part of their body, between their waist and their chest. ...the girl with the bare midriff …   English dictionary

  • midriff — UK [ˈmɪdrɪf] / US noun [countable] Word forms midriff : singular midriff plural midriffs the part of your body between your waist and your chest, especially the front part …   English dictionary

  • midriff — /mid rif/, n. 1. diaphragm (def. 1). 2. the middle part of the body, between the chest and the waist. 3. the part of a dress or bodice, usually close fitting, that covers this part of the body. 4. a garment that exposes this part of the body. adj …   Universalium

  • midriff — noun The mid section of the human torso, from below the chest to above the waist …   Wiktionary

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