Definition of breast in English:


Syllabification: breast
Pronunciation: /brest


1Either of the two soft, protruding organs on the upper front of a woman’s body that secrete milk after pregnancy.
More example sentences
  • All had terminal cancer of the breast, lung, gastrointestinal system or prostate gland.
  • You may notice pink, red or purple streaks along your abdomen, breasts, upper arms, buttocks or thighs.
  • The most researched cancers are those of the bowel, breast, endometrium, prostate, testes, and lung.
(breasts)bosom(s), bust, chest
informal boobs, knockers, bazooms, hooters
1.1The less-developed part of a man’s body corresponding with a woman’s breast.
More example sentences
  • He stops the blade inches from the man's breast.
  • Her head was resting just at the top of her lover's breast.
  • Shylock raised his knife to inflict the fatal wound to his enemy's breast.
1.2A person’s chest: her heart was hammering in her breast
More example sentences
  • The growth can invade local tissues of the breast and chest wall as well as spread through the blood and lymphatic systems.
  • She sat on the back seat, pressing the envelope to her breast.
  • When he woke up, he found Maria sound asleep on his breast.
heart, bosom, soul, core
1.3The chest of a bird or mammal: [as modifier]: the breast feathers of the doves
More example sentences
  • The young birds' breasts showed orange now as they looked hungrily to her, their eyes black and empty.
  • Then it preened its scaly breast feathers with a wide beak.
  • Be sure that it is the native pigeon, a large bird with white plumage on its breast.
1.4A portion of poultry cut from the breast of a bird: a grilled chicken breast
More example sentences
  • Then for my entree: boneless fried chicken breasts, sweet potato fries, and noodle kugel.
  • Plus, tuna has virtually zero saturated fat, which you can't say about red meat or even a breast of chicken.
  • Season remaining three chicken breasts with salt and white pepper.
1.5The part of a garment that covers the chest: [as modifier]: a breast pocket
More example sentences
  • She had half expected him to display the garment in the breast pocket of his jacket.
  • The seven-year-old buried her head in Debbie's pajamas, soaking the breast pocket of her shirt.
  • He stuffed his sunglasses into the breast pocket of his shirt as his eyes searched for her.


[with object] Back to top  
1Face and move forward against or through (something): I watched him breast the wave
More example sentences
  • On the Potomac, swan-white power launches keep breasting the sulphurous wave.
  • Two huge English gals with shoulders like walruses breasted the waves in perfect unison.
  • He breasted the finish line in five hours and two minutes.
1.1Reach the top of (a hill).
More example sentences
  • It turned out to be the highlight of the expedition, the day they breasted the icecap.
  • As the first rays of the sun breasted the peak of the mountain, the enemy slowed.
  • The train made the climb and breasted the summit at a virtually steady 60 mph.


Old English brēost, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch borst and German Brust.


beat one's breast

Make an exaggerated show of sorrow, despair, or regret.
More example sentences
  • At the peak of her ambiguous angst, she beats her breast in sappy mourning upon the death of her father.
  • I bet you are wailing and gnashing your teeth and beating your breast with many small whips as you ponder this.
  • In contrast to Antony's desire to blame anyone but himself, Cleopatra spends much of her first speech beating her breast.

make a clean breast of something

see clean.



[in combination]: a bare-breasted woman a crimson-breasted bird

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