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

  • n. A striptease artist.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An erotic dancer who removes their clothes as a form of entertainment; a stripper.

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

  • n. a performer who provides erotic entertainment by undressing to music


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

From ecdysis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined by H. L. Mencken from ecdysis (on the model of enthusiast etc.).


  • The two decades mentioned saw articles and books by H.L. Mencken, who reflected a modern, mature view of language (and who coined the word ecdysiast for

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XX No 1

  • So distinct was her wit and elegant striptease, that H.L. Mencken coined the term "ecdysiast" to describe her high-class act.

    Fern Siegel: Stage Door Theater Reviews: In Praise Of Patti LuPone, Gypsy, And South Pacific

  • Considering that the roots of the word "ecdysiast" have to do with molting, this is particularly charming to me.

    The Return of the Return of Burlesque

  • Mencken is the one who coined the word 'ecdysiast' in her honor, Abbott says.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Who ever thought the music that's supposed to signal it's time to take off your shirt, line up with the gym bunnies and unleash your inner ecdysiast would be played for CHILDREN.


  • Evie Lovelle, with long dark hair and a "corps sublime," is an ecdysiast in the classic Gypsy Rose Lee tradition, wearing hour-glass corsets, whipping off her long gloves à la Rita Hayworth in "Gilda," and playing hide-and-seek behind huge feather fans.

    Burlesque Is Back in Paris

  • All attention was focused overhead as the ermine ecdysiast began to toy with the clasps securing one veil.

    A Corridor in the Asylum

  • In any case, the turgid screen adaptation of "The Time Traveler's Wife" stars Eric Bana as Henry, the accidental ecdysiast, and Rachel McAdams as Clare, the long-suffering but patient-as-Penelope title character.

    No Time's Right for 'Traveler's Wife'

  • Please welcome several fellow bloggers to the sidebar: Kevin Kelly (author of the article I from the other day that I liked), Elizabeth Castro (whose book -- Publishing a Blog With Blogger -- I use often), The Radical Academy, Thomas "She Blinded Me With Science" Dolby, Steven Johnson (whose book I just finished and loved), blog historian Rebecca Blood, and literary ecdysiast Diablo Cody.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • Just in case anyone is tempted to confuse Ecstasky Airlines with the competition, a company ecdysiast -- that's a fancy word for a striptease artist -- named Rachel recently told an L.A. morning show that "we have hooters, but we're not with Hooters."

    American Beat: The (Very) Friendly Skies


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  • Coined by H.L. Mencken, c./pre-1940 from ecdysis, Greek word referring to the shedding of an outer layer of skin in snakes, crustaceans and insects; or moulting.

    Gypsy Rose Lee took an objection apparently:

    "Ecdysiast, he calls me! Why, the man Mencken…has been reading books! Dictionaries! We don't wear feathers and molt them off…What does he know about stripping?"

    (Clearly she'd been reading a dictionary or two herself.)

    March 29, 2009

  • Now THAT's entertainment.

    October 14, 2008