Definitions

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

  • n. A woman's undergarment worn to support and give contour to the breasts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An item of underwear worn to support the breasts; now commonly shortened to bra.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A form of woman's undergarment, often stiffened with wire or whalebones, or the like, and worn to cover and support the breasts; -- also called bra. It usually has straps which support it from the shoulders, but strapless variants are also made.

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

  • n. an undergarment worn by women to support their breasts

Etymologies

French brassière, child's jacket with sleeves, brassiere, from Old French braciere : bras, arm (from Latin brācchium; see brachium) + -iere, -ier, one associated with; see -er1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the French word brassière. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word brassiere comes from the Old French braciere, which was a piece worn on the arm as protection.

    ZUG.com > ZUG Live

  • A rummage through the Rigby & Peller archive, which is stored in silk-lined suitcases in an office above its Conduit Street store in Mayfair, shows that a lot has changed since Vogue coined the term "brassiere" in 1907.

    From corsets for comedians to bespoke bras: Rigby & Peller has seen it all

  • I had once looked up the word brassiere in the dictionary, and I had been aroused: “A woman’s undergarment worn to support the breasts.”

    THE EXTRA MAN

  • The word brassiere first appeared in fashion bible Vogue a century ago.

    CNN Transcript Sep 29, 2007

  • Just the word brassiere, or its shortened form, bra, was enough to stimulate me, and to say to myself “Mary’s bra” was deadly.

    THE EXTRA MAN

  • I think that it is funny that the bra-burners forgot that originally the brassiere was a liberation for women, a step up from the corset when the country needed extra metal for the war.

    Inflammatory!

  • Removing her brassiere is a necessary skill you must learn if you are ever to get intimate with a woman.

    The Times of India

  • I resent that comment, wishiwasmerckx, my man boobs are kept fully in check with my handmade coconut shell brassiere which is painted in team colors!

    The Fast and the Spurious: Acting Tough

  • Dominic Holden, news reporter at The Stranger, regrets that in an attempt to spell out the word "brassiere" in a Slog post, he mistakenly spelled it "brazier," which actually means "barbecue."

    Regret the Error

  • Like all the best questions .... bra is short for brassiere, which a single item, als the word is French, and they are a singular people. bra is short for brassiere which is a word for a single object, whereas any item of clothing that covers both legs separately is referred to in plural as it comprises two leg coverings put together.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

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