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[oh-bee; Japanese aw-bee] /ˈoʊ bi; Japanese ˈɔ bi/
noun, plural obis, obi.
a long, broad sash tied about the waist over a Japanese kimono.
Origin of obi1
1875-80; < Japanese: girdle, gird (v.)


[oh-bee] /ˈoʊ bi/
noun, plural obis.
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for obi
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then it would be as well to find out what sort of village this obi man has got, and how many men it probably contains.

    The Queen's Cup G. A. Henty
  • These harmonize with the obi in color and give a dainty finish to the costume.

    The Old World and Its Ways William Jennings Bryan
  • Among the more modernized Japanese a ring is now often given in place of, or, in the wealthier classes, in addition to the obi.

    Japanese Girls and Women Alice Mabel Bacon
  • Presently the door of the hut opened, and the obi man appeared.

    Cuba Past and Present Richard Davey
  • De great obi spirit come down to us, when de moon am at its last quarter, an he tell us how to cure and how to kill.

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
  • He notices that an obi is not often worn; and when worn is soon discarded.

    The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari James S. De Benneville
  • The present from the groom is usually a piece of handsome silk, used for the obi or girdle.

    Japanese Girls and Women Alice Mabel Bacon
  • When he would rush forth he was pulled back by the girdle (obi).

    The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari James S. De Benneville
British Dictionary definitions for obi


noun (pl) obis, obi
a broad sash tied in a large flat bow at the back, worn by Japanese women and children as part of the national costume
a narrow sash worn by Japanese men
Word Origin
C19: from Japanese


noun (pl) obis, obeahs
a kind of witchcraft originating in Africa and practised by some West Indians
a charm or amulet used in this
Derived Forms
obiism, noun
Word Origin
of West African origin; compare Edo obi poison
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
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