"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.