girth (g[schwa]rth). [Old English]

1. A measure of length, equal to a yard. • This term, which was used in Saxon and early English law, was taken from the circumference of a man's body.

2. The area surrounding a church.

3. A place of sanctuary.

4. A band or strap that encircles the body of an animal to fasten something (usu. a saddle) to its back.

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