[oh-bee; Japanese aw-bee]

noun, plural o·bis, o·bi.

a long, broad sash tied about the waist over a Japanese kimono.

Origin of obi

1875–80; < Japanese: girdle, gird (v.)



noun, plural o·bis. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obi

Contemporary Examples of obi

Historical Examples of obi

  • This is supposed to be one of the drugs employed by the Obi wizards and witches.

    The Romance of Plant Life

    G. F. Scott Elliot

  • These harmonize with the obi in color and give a dainty finish to the costume.

    The Old World and Its Ways

    William Jennings Bryan

  • Some on 'em are awful dirty folks, that's a fact, and Obi was one of them.

    The Attache

    Thomas Chandler Haliburton

  • Presently the door of the hut opened, and the Obi man appeared.

  • He notices that an obi is not often worn; and when worn is soon discarded.

British Dictionary definitions for obi



noun plural obis or obi

a broad sash tied in a large flat bow at the back, worn by Japanese women and children as part of the national costume
a narrow sash worn by Japanese men

Word Origin for obi

C19: from Japanese




noun plural obis or obeahs

a kind of witchcraft originating in Africa and practised by some West Indians
a charm or amulet used in this
Derived Formsobiism, noun

Word Origin for obi

of West African origin; compare Edo obi poison
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