1. Anatomy. the trunk of the body from the neck to the abdomen; thorax.
  2. a box, usually with a lid, for storage, safekeeping of valuables, etc.: a toy chest; a jewelry chest.
  3. the place where the funds of a public institution or charitable organization are kept; treasury; coffer.
  4. the funds themselves.
  5. a box in which certain goods, as tea, are packed for transit.
  6. the quantity contained in such a box: a chest of spices.
  7. chest of drawers.
  8. a small cabinet, especially one hung on a wall, for storage, as of toiletries and medicines: a medicine chest.
  1. get (something) off one’s chest, Informal. to relieve oneself of (problems, troubling thoughts, etc.) by revealing them to someone.
  2. play it close to the chest. vest(def 16).


    1. the front part of the trunk from the neck to the bellyRelated adjective: pectoral
    2. (as modifier)a chest cold
  1. get something off one’s chest informal to unburden oneself of troubles, worries, etc, by talking about them
  2. a box, usually large and sturdy, used for storage or shippinga tea chest
  3. Also: chestful the quantity a chest holds
  4. rare
    1. the place in which a public or charitable institution deposits its funds
    2. the funds so deposited
  5. a sealed container or reservoir for a gasa wind chest; a steam chest

Old English cest “box, coffer, casket,” from Proto-Germanic *kista (cf. Old Norse and Old High German kista, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, German kiste, Dutch kist), an early borrowing from Latin cista “chest, box,” from Greek kiste “a box, basket,” from PIE *kista “woven container.” Meaning extended to “thorax” 1520s, replacing breast (n.), on the metaphor of the ribs as a box for the organs. Chest of drawers is from 1590s.


  1. The part of the body between the neck and the abdomen, enclosed by the ribs and the breastbone; thorax.

see off one’s chest; play one’s cards close to one’s chest.

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