a. A belt or sash worn around the waist.
b. Something that encircles like a belt.
c. An elasticized, flexible undergarment worn over the waist and hips to give the body a more slender appearance.
2. A band made around the trunk of a tree by the removal of a strip of bark.
3. The edge of a cut gem held by the setting.
4. Anatomy The pelvic or pectoral girdle.
tr.v.gir·dled, gir·dling, gir·dles
1. To encircle with a belt.
2. To form a circle around:a ring of hills that girdled the city.
3. To remove a band of bark and cambium from the circumference of (a tree), usually in order to kill it.
[Middle Englishgirdel, fromOld Englishgyrdel; see gher-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)girdle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.