From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Waist \Waist\, n. [OE. wast; originally, growth, akin to AS.
   weaxan to grow; cf. AS. w[ae]stm growth. See Wax to grow.]
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   1. That part of the human body which is immediately below the
      ribs or thorax; the small part of the body between the
      thorax and hips. --Chaucer.
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            I am in the waist two yards about.    --Shak.
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   2. Hence, the middle part of other bodies; especially
      (Naut.), that part of a vessel's deck, bulwarks, etc.,
      which is between the quarter-deck and the forecastle; the
      middle part of the ship.
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   3. A garment, or part of a garment, which covers the body
      from the neck or shoulders to the waist line.
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   4. A girdle or belt for the waist. [Obs.] --Shak.
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   Waist anchor. See Sheet anchor, 1, in the Vocabulary.
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