- diaphragm(def 1).
- the middle part of the body, between the chest and the waist.
- the part of a dress or bodice, usually close-fitting, that covers this part of the body.
- a garment that exposes this part of the body.
- noting or pertaining to the middle part of the human body, the part of a garment that covers it, or a garment that exposes it.
- the middle part of the human body, esp between waist and bust
- (as modifier)midriff bulge
- anatomy another name for the diaphragm (def. 1)
- the part of a woman’s garment covering the midriff
- US a woman’s garment which exposes the midriff
n.Old English midhrif, from mid “mid” (see mid) + hrif “belly,” from Proto-Germanic *hrefiz- (cf. Old High German href, Old Frisian hrif “belly”), from PIE *kwrep- “body, form, appearance” (see 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; sense inverted and extended 1970 to a belly-baring style of women’s top. n.