n.1.(Naut.) A band for the breast. Specifically: (Naut.) A band of canvas, or a rope, fastened at both ends to the rigging, to support the man who heaves the lead in sounding.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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References in classic literature ?
The animals threw their weights against their breastbands on the instant, crouching low to the snow, and digging in their claws.
More importantly, in Heliodorus (3.4) Charikleia wears a breastband of gold consisting of two snakes whose tails intertwine at the back and whose necks encircle her breasts in an intricate knot.
The Pied Kingfisher is stunning in black and white, the underparts white with, in the female one and in the male two, black breastbands.