from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The part of the body between the neck and the abdomen, enclosed by the ribs and the breastbone; the thorax.
  • noun The front or ventral portion of this part.
  • noun A sturdy box with a lid and often a lock, used especially for storage.
  • noun A small closet or cabinet with shelves for storing supplies.
  • noun The treasury of a public institution.
  • noun The funds kept there.
  • noun A box for the shipping of certain goods, such as tea.
  • noun The quantity packed in such a box.
  • noun A sealed receptacle for liquid, gas, or steam.
  • noun A bureau; a dresser.
  • idiom (get (something) off (one's) chest) To vent one's pent-up feelings.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To deposit in a chest; hoard.
  • To place in a coffin.
  • noun The funds of a public institution, or the strong box, coffer, or place where such funds are, or are supposed to be, kept; the treasury: as, a military chest; the university chest; the chest for the relief of maimed manners; etc.
  • noun In organ-building, see wind-chest.
  • noun Debate; quarrel; strife; enmity.
  • noun A box, properly one of considerable size, made of wood, iron, or other material, with a hinged lid, used as a depository for treasure, papers of record, clothing, or other articles.
  • noun Specifically In com., a box-shaped case in which certain kinds of goods, as tea, indigo, opium, etc., are packed for transit.
  • noun The quantity such a case contains; a customary but uncertain measure of capacity for a few commodities: as, a chest of isinglass is 3½ hundredweight; a chest of cochineal is 1½ hundredweight.
  • noun A coffin.
  • noun The trunk of the body from the neck to the belly; the thorax (which see).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To deposit in a chest; to hoard.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To place in a coffin.
  • noun obsolete Strife; contention; controversy.
  • noun A large box of wood, or other material, having, like a trunk, a lid, but no covering of skin, leather, or cloth.
  • noun obsolete A coffin.
  • noun The part of the body inclosed by the ribs and breastbone; the thorax.
  • noun (Com.) A case in which certain goods, as tea, opium, etc., are transported; hence, the quantity which such a case contains.
  • noun (Mech.) A tight receptacle or box, usually for holding gas, steam, liquids, etc..
  • noun See under Bomb.
  • noun a case or movable frame containing drawers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A box, now usually a large strong box with a secure convex lid.
  • noun obsolete A coffin.
  • noun The place in which public money is kept; a treasury.
  • noun A chest of drawers.
  • noun anatomy The portion of the human body from the base of the neck to the top of the abdomen; the thorax. Also the analogous area in other animals.
  • noun A hit or blow made with one's chest (the front of one's body).
  • verb To hit with one's chest (front of one's body)

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

  • noun box with a lid; used for storage; usually large and sturdy
  • noun furniture with drawers for keeping clothes
  • noun the front of the trunk from the neck to the abdomen
  • noun the part of the human torso between the neck and the diaphragm or the corresponding part in other vertebrates


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

[Middle English, from Old English cest, box, from West Germanic *kista, from Latin cista, from Greek kistē.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English ċest ("box"), from Proto-Germanic *kistō, from Latin cista, from Ancient Greek κίστη (kistē, "chest, box, basket, hamper"), from Proto-Indo-European *kisteh₂ (“woven container”). Cognates from Germanic include Dutch kist, German Kiste.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word chest.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.