From Middle English brest, from Old English brēost, from Proto-Germanic *breustą, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrews- (“to swell”). Compare West Frisian boarst, Danish bryst, Swedish bröst; cf. also Dutch borst, German Brust.
breast (plural breasts)
- (anatomy) Either of the two organs on the front of a female human's chest, which contain the mammary glands; also the analogous organs in males.
- Tanya's breasts grew remarkably during pregnancy.
- (anatomy) The chest, or front of the human thorax.
- A section of clothing covering the breast area.
- 1956, Anthony Burgess, Time for a Tiger (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 45:
- By the time he reached the War Memorial damp had soaked through the breasts of his shirt.
- The figurative seat of the emotions, feelings etc.; one's heart or innermost thoughts.
- She kindled hope in the breast of all who heard her.
- 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii]:
- He has a loyal breast.
- c. 1610-11, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I scene ii:
- […] Thou best know'st
- What torment I did find thee in. Thy groans
- Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts
- Of ever-angry bears— it was a torment
- To lay upon the damn'd, which Sycorax
- Could not again undo. It was mine art,
- When I arrived and heard thee, that made gape
- The pine and let thee out.
- The ventral portion of an animal's thorax.
- The robin has a red breast.
- A choice cut of poultry, especially chicken or turkey, taken from the bird’s breast; also a cut of meat from other animals, breast of mutton, veal, pork.
- Would you like breast or wing?
- The front or forward part of anything.
- a chimney breast; a plough breast
- 1645, John Milton, L'Allegro
- Mountains on whose barren breast / The labouring clouds do often rest.
- 2015 April 7, Jeff Howell, “The secret of longer lasting tiles [print version: How to avoid cracking up, 4 April 2015, p. P7]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Property), archived from the original on 22 April 2015:
- If you burn wood on its own, the flue gases are cooler than from a coal fire. This can result in tars condensing out within the parging and brickwork of the flue, sometimes causing brown or yellow staining on upstairs chimney breasts.
- (mining) The face of a coal working.
- (mining) The front of a furnace.
- (obsolete) The power of singing; a musical voice.
- (female organs): See also Thesaurus:breasts
- (chest): chest
- (seat of emotions): heart, soul
- (cut of poultry): white meat
- (cut of meat): brisket
section of clothing covering the breast area
seat of emotions
choice cut of meat from poultry or other animals
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
- (transitive, often figuratively) To push against with the breast; to meet full on, oppose, face.
- He breasted the hill and saw the town before him.
- 1817, William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, page 22:
- […] when the court, very much to the credit of their candour and firmness, breasted the popular current by sustaining the demurrer.
to meet full on