1. The distance around something; the circumference.
2. Size; bulk:a person of large girth.
3. A strap encircling an animal's body in order to secure a load or saddle on its back; a cinch.
tr.v.girthed, girth•ing, girths
1. To measure the circumference of.
2. To encircle.
3. To secure with a girth.
[Middle Englishgerth, girth strap, fromOld Norsegjördh, girdle; see gher-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)girth
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.