1. the measure around anything; circumference.
  2. a band that passes underneath a horse or other animal to hold a saddle in place, especially one having a buckle at each end for fastening to straps running from under the flaps of the saddle.
  3. something that encircles; a band or girdle.
verb (used with object)
  1. to bind or fasten with a girth.
  2. to girdle; encircle.
Also girt.

Origin of girth

1300–50; Middle English girth, gerth < Old Norse gerth girdle; akin to gird1
Related formsun·der·girth, nounun·girthed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for ungirthed


  1. the distance around something; circumference
  2. size or bulka man of great girth
  3. a band around a horse's belly to keep the saddle in position
  1. (usually foll by up) to fasten a girth on (a horse)
  2. (tr) to encircle or surround

Word Origin for girth

C14: from Old Norse gjörth belt; related to Gothic gairda girdle 1; see gird 1
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 ungirthed



c.1300, "belt around a horse's body," from Old Norse gjorð "girdle, belt, hoop," from Proto-Germanic *gertu- (cf Gothic gairda "girdle"), from the same source as gird. Sense of "measurement around an object" first recorded 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper