get (something) off one's chest, Informal. to relieve oneself of (problems, troubling thoughts, etc.) by revealing them to someone.
    play it close to the chest. vest(def 16).

Origin of chest

before 900; Middle English; Old English cest, cist < Latin cista < Greek kístē box
Related formschest·ful [chest-foo l] /ˈtʃɛst fʊl/, noun
Can be confusedcelibate chased chaste chest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chestful

Historical Examples of chestful

  • They burnt a monastery in the plain and ransacked a chestful of correspondence.

    Little Novels of Italy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • But I love to have money in cash, rather than a chestful of fine clothes.

  • A second—half a second longer, and I should have shipped a mouthful, perhaps a chestful of water.

    Parkhurst Boys

    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for chestful



  1. the front part of the trunk from the neck to the bellyRelated adjective: pectoral
  2. (as modifier)a chest cold
get something off one's chest informal to unburden oneself of troubles, worries, etc, by talking about them
a box, usually large and sturdy, used for storage or shippinga tea chest
Also: chestful the quantity a chest holds
  1. the place in which a public or charitable institution deposits its funds
  2. the funds so deposited
a sealed container or reservoir for a gasa wind chest; a steam chest
Derived Formschested, adjective

Word Origin for chest

Old English cest, from Latin cista wooden box, basket, from Greek kistē box
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 chestful



Old English cest "box, coffer, casket," from Proto-Germanic *kista (cf. Old Norse and Old High German kista, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, German kiste, Dutch kist), an early borrowing from Latin cista "chest, box," from Greek kiste "a box, basket," from PIE *kista "woven container." Meaning extended to "thorax" 1520s, replacing breast (n.), on the metaphor of the ribs as a box for the organs. Chest of drawers is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chestful in Medicine




The part of the body between the neck and the abdomen, enclosed by the ribs and the breastbone; thorax.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with chestful


see off one's chest; play one's cards close to one's chest.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.