Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of breech.
  • n. A garment worn by men, covering the hips and thighs; smallclothes.
  • n. Trousers; pantaloons; britches.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. A garment worn by men, covering the hips and thighs; smallclothes.
  • n.pl. Trousers; pantaloons.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A bifurcated garment worn by men, covering the body from the waist to the knees, or, in some cases, only to mid-thigh.
  • Less properly, trousers or pantaloons.
  • Synonyms See trousers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. trousers ending above the knee

Etymologies

Middle English brech, brek, Old English brēc, plural of brōc ("breech, breeches"); akin to Old Norse brók ("breeches"), Danish brog, Dutch broek, German Bruch f.; compare Latin bracae ( > French braies) which is of Celtic origin. Compare brail. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And bagged in breeches, clinging round his side, —

    The Age Reviewed

  • My favourite episode consisted of Bill Odie dressed in breeches and a flat cap wielding a black pudding ... well just hitting people with the black pudding in a demonstration of the ancient martial art of 'ecky thumph'.

    If You Only Knew the Power of the Dumb Side....

  • Walking over it immediately conjures up images of Greg Wise in breeches; enough to keep me smiling for the rest of the day.

    The concrete jungle's really going crazy

  • He was dressed for riding, with buff coat and buckskin breeches, and shining top boots.

    The Black Moth: A Romance of the XVIII Century

  • Khaki was the rule, the women mostly in breeches and long coats, with high-laced shoes reaching to the knee and soft felt hats, the men in riding-clothes, with sombreros and brilliant bandannas knotted about their throats.

    Through Glacier Park: Seeing America First with Howard Eaton

  • He was hatless; his Crimean shirt was torn into ribbons; his moleskin breeches were covered with blood and dirt; the strap belt, with its sheath-knife and various pouches, was gone, and this, judging from the state of his legs and feet, had been forcibly removed.

    Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land

  • The servants, powdered and in short breeches as usual, served us in their customary solemnity; but they must have wondered why we preferred to sit on the gravel, with a draught of cold air on our backs, when we might have been comfortably seated in a big and airy room with a carpet under our feet.

    In the Courts of Memory, 1858 1875; from Contemporary Letters

  • She had walked up with a Mr. Crowe, from Peterborough, a young, brisk-looking farmer, in breeches and top-boots, just out from the old country, who, naturally enough, thought he would like to roost among the woods.

    Roughing It in the Bush

  • There are things we do and know perfectly well in Vanity Fair, though we never speak of them: as the Ahrimanians worship the devil, but don't mention him: and a polite public will no more bear to read an authentic description of vice than a truly refined English or American female will permit the word breeches to be pronounced in her chaste hearing.

    Vanity Fair

  • a polite public will no more bear to read an authentic description of vice than a truly refined English or American female will permit the word breeches to be pronounced in her chaste hearing.

    Vanity Fair

Comments

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  • Captured at Yorktown: 126 "woolen breeches," another set of 241 breeches, and the next day, taken from the British "Deputy-Quarter-Master" and "adjudged to be forfeited," 25 "woolen breeches."

    October 29, 2007