Definitions

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

  • noun A semicircular wire support sewn into the underside of each cup of a brassiere.
  • noun A brassiere with such a wire support.

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

  • noun a semicircular wire placed in a bra to support the breasts
  • noun a bra that includes such wires
  • verb To fix such a wire in place

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From under + wire

Examples

  • They should be hand washed and line dried so as to preserve the beautiful lace and the hand sewn underwire which is both functional and extremely comfortable.

    Barack Obama at the University of Chicago Law School.

  • My mother stood in the doorway to the kitchen in a tight pair of jeans and a lace underwire bra.

    All The Roads That Lead From Home

  • Q: The great thing about this book is that is answers both serious (drinking) and silly (underwire bras, volcanoes) questions -- what in your experience is the number one thing you want to tell pregnant women, i.e. what's the most important piece of information, advice you can give?

    Nancy Doyle Palmer: The Pregnancy Test: More Is Less

  • George's County jail made for some awkward conversations when female visitors were told they'd have to remove their underwire bras because they set off the machines.

    Buzz: Pepco, Tolkien, iPhone

  • Q: The great thing about this book is that is answers both serious (drinking) and silly (underwire bras, volcanoes) questions -- what in your experience is the number one thing you want to tell pregnant women, i.e. what's the most important piece of information, advice you can give?

    Nancy Doyle Palmer: The Pregnancy Test: More Is Less

  • We hear all kinds of things from underwire bras cause breast cancer, to promiscuous sex causes breast cancer, to, you know, if I use a hair relaxer, it will cause breast cancer.

    Komen Breast Cancer Charity Responds To Critics

  • Underwire: Some women refuse to wear underwire for exercise, but it makes the band more secure, which is especially helpful for those with larger chests.

    The sports bra: Your No. 1 supporter

  • She gave me an hour massage, and although I really want to buy her an underwire bra, I buy her flowers instead.

    Lisa Natale: WWRD (What would Robin do?)

  • Linda totes her basket on one arm, the mobile phone cradled against her ear, whilst the other hand scratches beneath the underwire of her brassiere.

    Bingo Night

  • She gave me an hour massage, and although I really want to buy her an underwire bra, I buy her flowers instead.

    Lisa Natale: WWRD (What would Robin do?)

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