AskDefine | Define cincture

Dictionary Definition

cincture n : a band of material around the waist that strengthens a skirt or trousers [syn: girdle, sash, waistband, waistcloth]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An enclosure, or the act of enclosing, encircling or encompassing
  2. A girdle or belt, especially as part of a vestment


#*1988, Alan Hollinghurst, The Swimming Pool Library, Penguin Books (1988), page 161
    • In one, dated eighteen years ago, he appeared, wearing only sandals and a cincture of vine leaves, between two classical garden statues.


to cincture
  1. To girdle, circle or surround

Extensive Definition

For the architectural element, see Architectural glossary.
The cincture is a liturgical vestment, worn encircling the body around or above the waist. The term has two distinct meanings, the usage generally dividing along denominational lines. Where the context does not indicate which meaning is intended, ambiguity may be avoided by the use of the terms "girdle" and "fascia".
In the Roman Catholic Church, the cincture is a long, rope-like cord with tassled or knotted ends, tied around the waist outside the alb. The colour may be white, or may vary according to the colour of the liturgical season.
When laypeople wear an alb, the cincture is usually tied on the right. As deacons tie their stoles on the right, they often fasten the cincture on the left instead. Priests and bishops usually have the knot of their cincture in front of them; the loose ends are often passed around the stole and tucked through the waist of the cincture at each side. When the cincture is tied in the front and the ends draped on either side, it is called a Roman Knot. Besides its functional rôle in securing the alb and stole, the cincture bears a symbolic rôle, signifying chastity and purity.
The same vestment is widely used in the Anglican and Methodist churches, as well as most Lutheran denominations and some other Protestant churches. However, in these denominations it is usually referred to as a girdle, the term "cincture" being used instead to signify a broad sash worn over the cassock somewhat above the waist. This latter vestment is in the Roman Catholic Church known as a fascia, and the use of this vestment is restricted to ordained clergy and seminarians.

See also

cincture in Indonesian: Cingulum
cincture in German: Zingulum
cincture in Italian: Cingolo (liturgia)
cincture in Dutch: Cingel (koord)
cincture in Polish: Cingulum
cincture in Swedish: Cingulum

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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