• synonyms


  1. (in the 15th and 16th centuries) a flap or cover for the crotch in men's hose or tight-fitting breeches, usually matching the costume and often decorated.
  2. Obsolete. penis.
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Origin of codpiece

1400–50; late Middle English. See cod2, piece
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for codpiece

Historical Examples of codpiece

  • Farewell, Friar John, I recommend the care of my codpiece to you.

    Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete.

    Francois Rabelais

  • Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a codpiece to take away the life of a man!

    Measure for Measure

    William Shakespeare

  • In saying this, he took the head and held it warm foregainst his codpiece, that the wind might not enter into it.

  • Will you maintain, quoth Pantagruel, that the codpiece is the chief piece of a military harness?

British Dictionary definitions for codpiece


  1. a bag covering the male genitals, attached to hose or breeches by laces, etc, worn in the 15th and 16th centuries
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Word Origin for codpiece

C15: from cod ² + piece
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 codpiece


mid-15c., "a bagged appendage to the front of the breeches; often conspicuous" [OED], from Old English codd "a bag, pouch, husk," in Middle English, "testicles" (common Germanic, cf. Old Norse koddi "pillow," Dutch kodde "bag") + piece (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper