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GIRTH., A girth or yard is a measure of length. The word is of Saxon origin, taken from the circumference of the human body. Girth is contracted from girdeth, and signifies as much as girdle. See Ell.

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And this to such an extent, monsieur," continued Porthos, "that the fellow in two years has gained eighteen inches in girth, and so my last dozen coats are all too large, from a foot to a foot and a half.
Another reform-school graduate youth obeyed, snapping a girth about Michael's loins, to which was attached a thin rope.
It was a comrade, bending over the house, strength and adventure in its roots, but in its utmost fingers tenderness, and the girth, that a dozen men could not have spanned, became in the end evanescent, till pale bud clusters seemed to float in the air.
You see," he went on, as though addressing his neglected mother across half the girth of the earth, "each year I was going home.
His valet made a fortune out of his wardrobe: his toilet-table was covered with as many pomatums and essences as ever were employed by an old beauty: he had tried, in order to give himself a waist, every girth, stay, and waistband then invented.
Alluring paths led off among the trees and into cozy nooks made by circles of red columns growing around the dust of vanished ancestors--witnessing the titantic dimensions of those ancestors by the girth of the circles in which they stood.
The belt added to the saddle is a breast girth to stop the tack shifting backwards, while the girths round the belly hold the saddle in place.
We arrive at 10am and my colleague Nuggie [Robert Rusk] is already there sorting out the saddles we need for the day and oiling up the girths and surcingles we scrubbed the night before.
As far as the lower body is concerned, strength training in women typically results in significant increases in strength, and no change, or a decrease, in limb girths, while for the upper body a very small increase in extremity girth (such as the upper arm) often results.
But big tree hunters should keep their eyes peeled because past champions have stretched the tape with 130-foot spreads and 38-foot girths.
In short, our heights may be declining, but our girths are expanding--extravagantly.