- Anatomy, Zoology. (in bipeds) the outer, front part of the thorax, or the front part of the body from the neck to the abdomen; chest.
- Zoology. the corresponding part in quadrupeds.
- either of the pair of mammae occurring on the chest in humans and having a discrete areola around the nipple, especially the mammae of the female after puberty, which are enlarged and softened by hormonally influenced mammary-gland development and fat deposition and which secrete milk after the birth of a child: the breasts of males normally remain rudimentary.
- the part of a garment that covers the chest.
- the bosom conceived of as the center of emotion: What anger lay in his breast when he made that speech?
- a projection from a wall, as part of a chimney.
- any surface or part resembling or likened to the human breast.
- Mining. the face or heading at which the work is going on.
- the front of an open-hearth furnace.
- the clay surrounding the taphole of a cupola.
- breast line.
- a rounded bow.
- to meet or oppose boldly; confront: As a controversial public figure he has breasted much hostile criticism.
- to contend with or advance against: The ship breasted the turbulent seas.
- to climb or climb over (a mountain, obstacle, etc.).
- to overcome, succeed against.
- to come alongside or abreast of.
- breast in, Nautical. to bind (an object, as a boatswain's chair) securely under a projection, as the flare of a bow.
- breast off, Nautical.
- to thrust (a vessel) sideways from a wharf.
- to keep (a vessel) away from a wharf by means of timbers.
- beat one's breast, to display one's grief, remorse, etc., in a loud and demonstrative manner.
- make a clean breast of, to confess everything (of which one is guilty): You'll feel better if you make a clean breast of it.
Origin of breast
- the front part of the body from the neck to the abdomen; chest
- either of the two soft fleshy milk-secreting glands on the chest in sexually mature human femalesadjective mammary
- a similar organ in certain other mammals
- anything that resembles a breast in shape or positionthe breast of the hill
- a source of nourishmentthe city took the victims to its breast
- the source of human emotions
- the part of a garment that covers the breast
- a projection from the side of a wall, esp that formed by a chimney
- mining the face being worked at the end of a tunnel
- beat one's breast to display guilt and remorse publicly or ostentatiously
- make a clean breast of to make a confession of
- to confront boldly; facebreast the storm
- to oppose with the breast or meet at breast levelbreasting the waves
- to come alongside ofbreast the ship
- to reach the summit ofbreasting the mountain top
Word Origin for breast
Old English breost "breast, bosom; mind, thought, disposition," from Proto-Germanic *breustam "breast" (cf. Old Saxon briost, Old Frisian briast, Old Norse brjost, Dutch borst, German brust, Gothic brusts), perhaps literally "swelling" and from PIE root *bhreus- "to swell, sprout" (cf. Middle Irish bruasach "having a broad, strong chest," Old Irish bruinne "breast"). The spelling conforms to the Scottish and northern England dialectal pronunciation. Figurative sense of "seat of the emotions" was in Old English.
- Either of two milk-secreting, glandular organs on the chest of a woman; mammary gland; mamma.
- A corresponding rudimentary gland in the male.
- The superior ventral surface of the human body, extending from the neck to the abdomen.
make a clean breast of
Confess fully, as in Caught shoplifting, the girls decided to make a clean breast of it to their parents. This expression, first recorded in 1752, uses clean breast in the sense of baring of one's heart, the breast long considered the seat of private or secret feelings.
see keep abreast of; make a clean breast of.