- a modern Gothic novel or historical romance, usually in paperback format, featuring at least one passionate love scene, characteristically one in which the heroine vainly resists submitting to the villain or hero.
Also called bodice buster.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bodice-ripper
This bodice-ripper about Restoration England, banned in fourteen US states, was the bestselling novel in 1940s America.Emma Donoghue’s Book Bag: Five Whorestoricals
October 29, 2013
In a sitting, I raced through the book: a thinking man's bodice-ripper.The Daily Beast's Favorite Books of 2010
The Daily Beast
December 18, 2010
- informal a romantic novel, usually on a historical theme, that involves some sex and violence
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