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  1. the hollow under the arm at the shoulder; axilla.

Origin of armpit

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at arm1, pit1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for armpit


  1. the small depression beneath the arm where it joins the shoulderTechnical name: axilla Related adjective: axillary
  2. slang an extremely unpleasant placethe armpit of the Mediterranean
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for armpit


mid-14c., from arm (n.1) + pit (n.1). Arm-hole (early 14c.) was used in this sense but was obsolete by 18c. Colloquial armpit of the nation for any locale regarded as ugly and disgusting was in use by 1965.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

armpit in Medicine


  1. The hollow under the upper part of the arm below the shoulder joint, bounded by the pectoralis major, the latissimus dorsi, the anterior serratus muscles, and the humerus, and containing the axillary artery and vein, the infraclavicular part of the brachial plexus, lymph nodes and vessels, and areolar tissue.axilla axillary fossa
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.