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[top-lis] /ˈtɒp lɪs/
lacking a top:
a topless bathing suit.
nude above the waist or hips:
topless dancers.
featuring entertainers, waitresses, etc., who are nude above the waist or hips:
a topless bar.
extremely high:
a topless mountain.
Obsolete. without a peer.
Origin of topless
First recorded in 1580-90; top1 + -less
Related forms
toplessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for topless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Was this the face that launched a thousand ships, And burnt the topless towers of Ilium!

    Helen of Troy Andrew Lang
  • Some were in tents, some in topless squares of sacking, or with piles of straw.

    An American Idyll Cornelia Stratton Parker
  • This topless kingdom, spreading far beyond the Church, is making many feel that they are better off without the Church.

    What and Where is God?

    Richard La Rue Swain
  • The corporal said that this monster was Helen gazing out to sea from the topless towers of Ilium.

    Castellinaria Henry Festing Jones
  • Was this the face that launched a thousand shipsAnd burnt the topless towers of Ilium?

    Three Philosophical Poets George Santayana
British Dictionary definitions for topless


having no top
  1. denoting a costume which has no covering for the breasts
  2. wearing such a costume
(archaic) immeasurably high
Derived Forms
toplessness, noun
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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Word Origin and History for topless

"bare-breasted," 1966 (earlier it was used of men's bathing suits, 1937); from top (n.1) + -less.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for topless



  1. Not wearing anything on the upper body; with breasts exposed: a topless dancer (1966+)
  2. Having to do with entertainment, bars and clubs, etc, featuring women bare from the waist up: only at bars and only if they were topless (1967+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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