From Middle English waste, wast (“stature, waist”), from Old English *wǣst, *wǣxt, from Proto-Germanic *wahstuz (“growth, development, stature, build”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂weg-s- (“to multiply, increase”). Cognate with Middle High German wahst (“growth”), Danish vækst (“growth”), Swedish växt (“growth, development, size”), Icelandic vöxtur (“growth”), Gothic 𐍅𐌰𐌷𐍃𐍄𐌿𐍃 (wahstus, “growth”). Related to Old English weaxan (“to grow, increase”). More at wax.
waist (plural waists)
- The part of the body between the pelvis and the stomach.
- A part of a piece of clothing that covers the waist.
- The narrow connection between the thorax and abdomen in certain insects (e.g., bees, ants and wasps).
- The middle portion of the hull of a ship or the fuselage of an aircraft.
- (nautical) That part of the upper deck of a ship between the quarterdeck and the forecastle.
- (obsolete) The middle part of anything.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
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