- the front of an open-hearth furnace.
- the clay surrounding the taphole of a cupola.
- breast line.
- a rounded bow.
verb (used with object)
- to thrust (a vessel) sideways from a wharf.
- to keep (a vessel) away from a wharf by means of timbers.
Origin of breast
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.
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.