chest


chest
chestful /chest"fool/, n.
/chest/, n.
1. Anat. 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.
8. a small cabinet, esp. one hung on a wall, for storage, as of toiletries and medicines: a medicine chest.
9. get (something) off one's chest, Informal. to relieve oneself of (problems, troubling thoughts, etc.) by revealing them to someone.
10. play it close to the chest. See vest (def. 8).
[bef. 900; ME; OE cest, cist < L cista < Gk kíste box]

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 the earliest form of container for storing clothes, documents, valuables, or other possessions, and the most important piece of furniture in the home until the 18th century. Chests with flat tops were also sometimes used as seats or beds.

      Chests are known from the 18th dynasty (c. 1539–1292 BC) in Egypt (art and architecture, Egyptian), when they were mounted on short legs. The skills used in making such ancient furniture were lost during the early Middle Ages, when the dugout was made, simply a crudely hollowed tree trunk fitted with a lid and often strengthened with iron bands to prevent splitting. Dugouts were gradually replaced by heavy chests made from boards, some of which survive in old European churches. They were generally fitted with a hinged lid, and many were strengthened with iron bands and fitted with locks. Sometimes they contained a small lidded box called a till, fixed across one end, to hold sweet-smelling herbs. The French (France), in the 13th century, were among the first to relieve the plainness of the chest with decoration, covering the planks with elaborate wrought-iron scrolls. One of the most outstanding chests decorated with wrought-iron work is preserved in the Museo de Artes Decorativas at the Palacio de la Virreina in Barcelona. Other chests of this period copied Romanesque (Romanesque art) and Gothic (Gothic art) architectural forms; the museum in Valère, Switz., for example, contains a chest decorated with roundels and Romanesque arches. Many pictorial scenes were carved on the sides of the chests, especially chivalric scenes such as St. George and the dragon or jousting knights.

      Architectural forms continued to be imitated during the Renaissance, and as late as the 16th century the chest was still an important piece of furniture. In France, where Italian forms were copied, the front of the chest usually had a single panel to allow greater freedom of decoration. Early Tudor chests in England were still decorated with Gothic styles and linenfold panels (carving that resembles vertical folds of material).

      Chests are among the earliest pieces of American (United States) furniture. Examples with flat carvings of leaves, flowers, and vines are known to have been made in the Connecticut River valley in the late 17th century, whereas more austere chests, with geometric carving, sometimes painted, were made along the coast of Massachusetts. Marriage chests made by Germans in Pennsylvania in the 18th century, decorated with inlay and sometimes the name of the owner, were based on southern German models. See also chest of drawers.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chest — (ch[e^]st), n. [OE. chest, chist, AS. cest, cist, cyst, L. cista, fr. Gr. ki sth. Cf. {Cist}, {Cistern}.] 1. A large box of wood, or other material, having, like a trunk, a lid, but no covering of skin, leather, or cloth. [1913 Webster] Heaps of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chest — [ tʃest ] noun count *** 1. ) the upper front part of your body between your neck and your stomach: a broad/hairy chest Have you had any chest pains? a ) BRITISH INFORMAL used for referring to health problems in the area of your chest, especially …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • chest — W3S2 [tʃest] n [: Old English; Origin: cest, from Latin cista box, basket , from Greek kiste basket ] 1.) the front part of your body between your neck and your stomach →↑breast ▪ Her heart was pounding in her chest. ▪ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • chest — chest; chest·ed; chest·i·ly; chest·i·ness; chest·nut·ty; chest·nut; …   English syllables

  • chest — [chest] n. [ME chest, chiste < OE, ON, or L: OE cist & ON kista < L cista < Gr kistē, a box, basket < IE * kista, woven container > OIr cess, basket] 1. a box with a lid and, often, a lock, for storing or shipping things 2. Rare a… …   English World dictionary

  • chest´i|ly — chest|y «CHEHS tee», adjective, chest|i|er, chest|i|est. U.S. Slang. 1. conceited; self assertive: »bumbling doctors, madcap crooks, chesty admirals and busty dowagers ( …   Useful english dictionary

  • chest|y — «CHEHS tee», adjective, chest|i|er, chest|i|est. U.S. Slang. 1. conceited; self assertive: »bumbling doctors, madcap crooks, chesty admirals and busty dowagers ( …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chest — puede hacer referencia a: Chest, revista médica estadoundiense. Chest Creek; río de Pensilvania, Estados Unidos. Chest Township, localidad del condado de Cambria, Pensilvania, Estados Unidos. Chest Township, localidad del condado de Clearfield,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • chest — ► NOUN 1) the front surface of a person s body between the neck and the stomach. 2) the circumference of a person s upper body. 3) a large strong box for storage or transport. 4) Brit. the treasury or financial resources of an institution. ● get… …   English terms dictionary

  • Chest — (ch[e^]st), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Chested}.] 1. To deposit in a chest; to hoard. [1913 Webster] 2. To place in a coffin. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] He dieth and is chested. Gen. 1. 26 (heading). [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chest — est le 7e single du groupe japonais Orange Range. Liste des pistes Chest Shuji Kimi Kirikirimai (disco mix) Chest (live mix) featuring Paul Gilbert Portail de la musique Catégorie …   Wikipédia en Français


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