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  1. a simple past tense and past participle of gird1.


verb (used with object)
  1. gird1(def 1).


noun, verb (used with object)
  1. girth.


  1. Carpentry.
    1. a timber or plate connecting the corner posts of an exterior wooden frame, as a braced frame, at a floor above the ground floor.
    2. a heavy beam, as for supporting the ends of rafters.
  2. Printing. (in certain hand presses) one of a pair of leather straps having one end fastened to the bed and the other to the rounce, for drawing the bed under the platen.

Origin of girt4

First recorded in 1555–65; alteration of girth


verb (used with object), gird·ed or girt, gird·ing.
  1. to encircle or bind with a belt or band.
  2. to surround; enclose; hem in.
  3. to prepare (oneself) for action: He girded himself for the trial ahead.
  4. to provide, equip, or invest, as with power or strength.

Origin of gird1

before 950; Middle English girden, Old English gyrdan; cognate with German gürten
Related formsgird·ing·ly, adverb


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3. brace, steel, fortify, strengthen.


verb (used without object)
  1. to gibe; jeer (usually followed by at).
verb (used with object)
  1. to gibe or jeer at; taunt.
  1. a gibe.

Origin of gird2

1175–1225; Middle English gyrd a stroke, blow, hence a cutting remark, derivative of girden to strike, smite < ?
Related formsgird·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for girt

Historical Examples

  • Then girt him Beowulf in martial mail, nor mourned for his life.



  • I's only a laal man, but I's got a girt appetite, thoo sees.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • Nobody could doubt that he had wandered in Siberian forests, naked and girt with a chain.

    Under Western Eyes

    Joseph Conrad

  • Then he prepared himself to go, and girt on his sword, talking earnestly the while.

    In Kings' Byways

    Stanley J. Weyman

  • Your hand has girt it round about with cliffs and peopled it with a peaceful race.


    Maurus Jokai

British Dictionary definitions for girt


  1. a past tense and past participle of gird 1
  1. nautical moored securely to prevent swinging


  1. (tr) to bind or encircle; gird
  2. to measure the girth of (something)


verb girds, girding, girded or girt (tr)
  1. to put a belt, girdle, etc, around (the waist or hips)
  2. to bind or secure with or as if with a beltto gird on one's armour
  3. to surround; encircle
  4. to prepare (oneself) for action (esp in the phrase gird (up) one's loins)
  5. to endow with a rank, attribute, etc, esp knighthood

Word Origin

Old English gyrdan, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse gyrtha, Old High German gurten


  1. (when intr, foll by at) to jeer (at someone); mock
  2. (tr) to strike (a blow at someone)
  3. (intr) to move at high speed
    1. a blow or stroke
    2. a taunt; gibe
  1. a display of bad temper or anger (esp in the phrases in a gird; throw a gird)

Word Origin

C13 girden to strike, cut, of unknown origin


  1. Scot a hoop, esp a child's hoopAlso: girr

Word Origin

a Scot variant of girth
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 girt


c.1400 as alternative form of gird; also past tense and past participle of gird.



Old English gyrdan "put a belt or girdle around; encircle, surround; invest with attributes," from Proto-Germanic *gurthjanan (cf. Old Norse gyrða, Old Saxon gurdian, Old Frisian gerda, Dutch gorden, Old High German gurtan, German gürten). Related to Old English geard "hedge, enclosure" (see yard (n.1)). Related: Girded; girding.

Throughout its whole history the English word is chiefly employed in rhetorical language, in many instances with more or less direct allusion to biblical passages. [OED]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper