from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The chest of a human: He held the sleepy child to his bosom.
  • n. A woman's breast or breasts.
  • n. The part of a garment covering the chest or breasts.
  • n. The security and closeness likened to being held in a warm familial embrace: We welcomed the stranger into the bosom of our family.
  • n. The chest considered as the source of emotion.
  • adj. Beloved; intimate: a bosom friend.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The part of a dress etc. covering the chest; a neckline.
  • adj. In a very close relationship.
  • v. To enclose or carry in the bosom; to keep with care; to take to heart; to cherish.
  • v. To conceal; to hide from view; to embosom.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the bosom.
  • adj. Intimate; confidential; familiar; trusted; cherished; beloved.
  • n. The breast of a human being; the part, between the arms, to which anything is pressed when embraced by them.
  • n. The breasts of a woman.
  • n. The breast, considered as the seat of the passions, affections, and operations of the mind; consciousness; secret thoughts.
  • n. Embrace; loving or affectionate inclosure; fold.
  • n. Any thing or place resembling the breast; a supporting surface; an inner recess; the interior.
  • n. The part of the dress worn upon the breast; an article, or a portion of an article, of dress to be worn upon the breast.
  • n. Inclination; desire.
  • n. A depression round the eye of a millstone.
  • transitive v. To inclose or carry in the bosom; to keep with care; to take to heart; to cherish.
  • transitive v. To conceal; to hide from view; to embosom.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The breast; the subclavian and mammary regions of the thorax of a human being; the upper part of the chest.
  • n. That part of one's clothing which covers the breast; especially, that portion of a shirt which covers the bosom, generally made of finer material than the rest.
  • n. The inclosure formed by the breast and the arms; hence, embrace; compass; inclosure: as, to lie in one's bosom.
  • n. The breast as the supposed abode of tender affections, desires, and passions.
  • n. . Inclination; desire.
  • n. Something regarded as resembling or representing in some respect the human bosom as a sustaining surface, an inclosed place, the interior, the inmost recess, etc.: as, the bosom of the earth or of the deep.
  • n. A recess or shelving depression around the eye of a millstone.
  • Of or pertaining to the bosom, either literally or figuratively.
  • To inclose, harbor, or cherish in the bosom; embrace; keep with care; cherish intimately.
  • To conceal; hide from view; embosom.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. hide in one's bosom
  • n. either of two soft fleshy milk-secreting glandular organs on the chest of a woman
  • n. a close affectionate and protective acceptance
  • v. squeeze (someone) tightly in your arms, usually with fondness
  • n. the locus of feelings and intuitions
  • n. cloth that covers the chest or breasts
  • n. the chest considered as the place where secret thoughts are kept
  • n. a person's breast or chest


Middle English, from Old English bōsm.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English bōsm. Cognate with Dutch boezem, German Busen. From Proto-Indo-European *bheu-ə- (“to swell, bend, curve”), whence also Albanian buzë ("lip"), Romanian buză ("lip"), Irish bus ("lip"), and Latin bucca ("cheek"). (Wiktionary)


  • I don't know's he's what you call a bosom friend, and, as for his sleepin 'nights -- well, I never heard he couldn't do that, after he went to bed.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

  • I have been bathing in the clear stream, at the end of my garden; the same stream in which I laved my careless bosom at thirteen; an idea which gave me inconceivable delight; and the more, as my bosom is as gay and tranquil at this moment as in those dear hours of chearfulness and innocence.

    The History of Emily Montague

  • In North America and some countries in Europe, exposing the bosom is shockingly natural compared to Korea.

    Global Voices in English » Korea: Things that might surprise you in North America

  • Then at intervals in a remote part of the enchanted grove, a delightfull thrill came through the bosom from the roll of the fife and the "spirit stirring Drum".

    Letter 35

  • The bosom is back, apparently, thanks to Mad Men's buxom star.

    Big breasts are the new small breasts

  • In youth the bosom is beautifully high, arched and rounded, firm as stone to the touch, with the nipples erect and pointing outwards.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • No man knows what the wife of his bosom is - no man knows what a ministering angel she is - until he has gone with her through the fiery trials of this world.

    The Wife, by Washington Irving.

  • Then the thing that I bear in my bosom is not a heart;


  • And she touched the little dark violets pinned on her thin bosom and went back to the letter.

    Bliss, and Other Stories

  • If you call your bosom friend a fool, and intend it for an insult, it is an insult; but if you do it playfully, and meaning no insult, it is not an insult.

    Sketches New And Old

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  • True, madam; those who have most virtue in their mouths, have least of it in their bosoms.
    Goldsmith, She Stoops, II

    January 10, 2007