a small, triangular piece of material inserted into a shirt, shoe, etc., to improve the fit or for reinforcement.Compare godet(def 1), gore3(def 1).
Civil Engineering. a plate for uniting structural members at a joint, as in a steel frame or truss.
  1. Also called area of mail backed with cloth, for defending the armpits or areas at joints.
  2. a small piece of plate armor at the armhole of a cuirass; pallet.

Origin of gusset

1375–1425; late Middle English < Old French gousset, derivative of gousse pod, husk Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gusset

Historical Examples of gusset

  • Sometimes the sleeve and gusset are all in one piece; at other times they are separate.

  • This offers as much resistance as a gusset and is more quickly done.

    Textiles and Clothing

    Kate Heintz Watson

  • Can any one tell me what proportion the gusset bears to the whole shirt?

    The New Mistress

    George Manville Fenn

  • I asked what proportion the gusset bore to the whole of the shirt.

    The New Mistress

    George Manville Fenn

  • It was a splendid rod, just right for him; how he wished he was up above Gusset Weir at that moment!

British Dictionary definitions for gusset



an inset piece of material used esp to strengthen or enlarge a garment
a triangular metal plate for strengthening a corner joist between two structural members
a piece of mail fitted between armour plates or into the leather or cloth underclothes worn with armour, to give added protection


(tr) to put a gusset in (a garment)
Derived Formsgusseted, adjective

Word Origin for gusset

C15: from Old French gousset a piece of mail, a diminutive of gousse pod, of unknown origin
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 gusset

early 14c., from Old French gosset "armpit; piece of armor for the armpit" (13c.), apparently from gousse "shell of a nut," of unknown origin. Originally an armorer's term; of clothing from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper