"long, narrow, flat piece," mid-15c., "narrow piece of cloth," probably related to or from Middle Low German strippe "strap, thong," and from the same source as stripe (n.1). Sense extension to wood, land, etc. first recorded 1630s.
Sense in comic strip is from 1920. Airport sense is from 1936; race track sense from 1941. Meaning "street noted for clubs, bars, etc." is attested from 1939, originally in reference to Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. Strip mine (n.) attested by 1892, as a verb by 1916; so called because the surface material is removed in successive parallel strips.
"make bare," early 13c., from Old English -striepan, -strypan "to plunder, despoil" (as in West Saxon bestrypan "to plunder"), from Proto-Germanic *straupijan (source also of Middle Dutch stropen "to strip off, to ramble about plundering," Old High German stroufen "to strip off, plunder," German streifen "strip off, touch upon, to ramble, roam, rove"). Meaning "to unclothe" is recorded from early 13c. Intransitive sense from late 14c. Of screw threads, from 1839; of gear wheels, from 1873. Meaning "perform a strip-tease" is from 1929. Related: Stripped; stripping. Strip poker is attested from 1916, in a joke in "The Technology Monthly and Harvard Engineering Journal":
"Say, Bill how, did the game come out?"
"It ended in a tie."
"Oh, were you playing strip poker?"
strip search is from 1947, in reference to World War II prison camps.
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