A basque is an item of women's clothing. The term, of French origin, originally referred to types of bodice or jacket with long tails, and in later usage a long corset, characterized by a close, contoured fit and extending past the waistline over the hips. It is so-called because the original French fashion for long women's jackets was adopted from Basque traditional dress. In contemporary usage, it refers only to a long item of lingerie, in effect a brassiere that continues down, stopping around the waist or the top of the hips, the lower part essentially decorative rather than providing support or indeed warmth.
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