from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A foot and leg covering reaching halfway to the knee, resembling a laced half boot.
- n. A thick-soled laced half boot worn by actors of Greek and Roman tragedies.
- n. Tragedy, especially that which resembles a Greek tragedy.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A half-boot.
- n. A type of boot worn by the ancient Athenian tragic actors; tragic drama, tragedy.
- n. An instrument of torture for the foot; bootikin.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A strong, protecting covering for the foot, coming some distance up the leg.
- n. A similar covering for the foot and leg, made with very thick soles, to give an appearance of elevation to the stature; -- worn by tragic actors in ancient Greece and Rome. Used as a symbol of tragedy, or the tragic drama, as distinguished from comedy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A half-boot or high shoe strapped or laced to the ankle and the lower part of the leg.
- n. A similar boot worn by the ancients; the cothurnus, particularly as worn by actors in tragedy. See cothurnus.
- n. Hence Tragedy or the tragic drama, as opposed to comedy.
- n. A low laced shoe worn by women.
- n. pl. Eccl., stockings forming a part of the canonicals of a bishop, usually made of satin or embroidered silk.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a boot reaching halfway up to the knee
Perhaps alteration (influenced by buckskin) of obsolete French broisequin, small leather boot.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Apparently from Old French bousequin, variant of brousequin ( > modern brodequin), probably from Middle Dutch broseken, of unknown origin. (Wiktionary)