• synonyms


[ses-tuh s]
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noun, plural ces·ti [ses-tahy] /ˈsɛs taɪ/.
  1. a girdle or belt, especially as worn by women of ancient Greece.
  2. Classical Mythology. the girdle of Venus, decorated with every object that could arouse amorous desire.
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Also especially British, ces·tos.

Origin of cestus1

1570–80; < Latin < Greek kestós a girdle, literally, (something) stitched, equivalent to kes- (variant stem of kenteîn to stitch; see center) + -tos verbal adjective suffix


[ses-tuh s]
noun, plural ces·tus·es. Roman Antiquity.
  1. a hand covering made of leather strips and often covered with metal studs, worn by boxers.
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Origin of cestus2

1725–35; < Latin cestus, caestus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cestus

Historical Examples

  • Venus has lent her her cestus, and shares with her the attendance of the Graces.

    The History of Emily Montague

    Frances Brooke

  • Her cestus or girdle holds all the magic of passion, and is borrowed even by Hera when she wishes to win her fickle lord.

  • Tom has been a sailor—a coal heaver—and some other genteel profession, before he took to the cestus.

  • Cestus, ses′tus, n. the girdle of Venus, which had power to awaken love: an ancient boxing-glove loaded with lead or iron.

  • This cestus was a fine parti-coloured girdle, which, as Homer tells us, had all the attractions of the sex wrought into it.

British Dictionary definitions for cestus


cestos (ˈsɛstɒs)

  1. classical myth the girdle of Aphrodite (Venus) decorated to cause amorousness
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin, from Greek kestos belt, from kentein to stitch



noun plural -tus or -tuses
  1. (in classical Roman boxing) a pugilist's gauntlet of bull's hide loaded or studded with metal
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Word Origin

C18: from Latin caestus, probably from caedere to strike, slay
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