• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Cestus (Antiq) A covering for the hands of boxers, made of leather bands, and often loaded with lead or iron.
    • Cestus (Zoöl) A genus of Ctenophora. The typical species (Cestus Veneris) is remarkable for its brilliant iridescent colors, and its long, girdlelike form.
    • Cestus (Antiq) A girdle; particularly that of Aphrodite (or Venus) which gave the wearer the power of exciting love.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cestus In Gr. and Rom. antiq., a girdle of any kind, whether worn by men or by women; particularly, the Greek girdle for confining the tunic, and specifically the girdle or zone of Venus, which was said to be decorated with everything that could awaken love.
    • n cestus In zoology: A ctenophoran; one of the Cestidæ. Same as Cestum.
    • n cestus Among the Greeks and Romans, a kind of boxing-glove or gauntlet, consisting of stout leather thongs or straps, often loaded with lead or iron, fastened on the hands and arms of boxers (called cestuarii) to render their blows more effective. At first the cestus was worn reaching no higher than the wrist, but it was afterward extended to the elbows, was more heavily weighted, and became, particularly among the Romans, a terrible weapon.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cestus ses′tus the girdle of Venus, which had power to awaken love: an ancient boxing-glove loaded with lead or iron.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. cestus, girdle, Gr. , lit., stitched, embroidered
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.—Gr. kestos, a girdle.


In literature:

Ah, believe me, it is she who has the cestus!
"The Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Enderby, alias Livius, fell as if smitten by a cestus.
"Average Jones" by Samuel Hopkins Adams
His waist expanded, or was no longer confined by the cestus which had given it a shape.
"The Newcomes" by William Makepeace Thackeray
Wrestle with me, or try the cestus against me.
"De La Salle Fifth Reader" by Brothers of the Christian Schools
Venus has lent her her cestus, and shares with her the attendance of the Graces.
"The History of Emily Montague" by Frances Brooke
Juno having borrowed the Cestus of Venus, first engages the assistance of Sleep, then hastens to Ida to inveigle Jove.
"The Iliad of Homer" by Homer
It is like the work of a skilled heavy-weight pugilist, or the work of an old Roman fighter with the cestus.
"The North Pole" by Robert E. Peary
Juno, having borrowed the cestus of Venus, first obtains the assistance of Sleep, and then hastens to Ida to inveigle Jove.
"The Iliad of Homer (1873)" by Homer
Cestus of Aphrodite, 76, 219.
"Plutarch's Morals" by Plutarch
Who bore to Tyndarus a noble pair, Castor the bold, and Pollux cestus-famed.
"The Odyssey of Homer" by Homer

In poetry:

As the leathern cestus binds
Tense the boxer's knotted hands;
So the strong wine round him winds,
Binds his thews to iron bands.
"The Helot" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
This kerchief's what you want, I know,--
Don't cheat poor Venus of her cestus,--
You'll find it handy when you go
To--you know where; it's pure asbestus.
"The First Fan" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
They may talk, if they will, of their Venus resplendent
With beauty and life, as she sprang from the sea ;
They may talk of the cestus, her graceful attendant ; —
But Love is the cestus that binds me to thee.
"They may talk of their flowers" by Mary Anne Browne
Mirth for Man her berry crushes;
Love her cestus, wove of blushes,
Froth of the sea, quick bloom of fire,
Tremors, and sighs, and sweet desire,
Wears all for Man: How soft they stand
In witching grace from Fancy's hand!
"Fancy" by Thomas Aird