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breeches Syllabification: breech·es
Pronunciation: /ˈbriCHiz/

Definition of breeches in English:

plural noun

1Short trousers fastened just below the knee, now chiefly worn for riding a horse or as part of ceremonial dress.
Example sentences
  • He was still a little mad she had worn breeches under her dress.
  • He was dressed in burgundy velvet breeches, waistcoat and frock, with a silk and lace white shirt.
  • She had braided her hair, and dressed in breeches and tunic, her riding gloves tucked into her belt.
1.1 informal Trousers.


too big for one's breeches
see big.


Middle English: plural of breech.

  • Breeches are old-fashioned trousers that are now worn for riding or as part of ceremonial dress. Like trousers and pants ( see pantaloons), the word is now always plural, but it used to be singular. From Anglo-Saxon times until the 16th century a breech was a garment covering the groin and thighs, like a loincloth or kilt, still found in the old-fashioned breech-clout. A breech was also a person's bottom, a sense which survives in breech birth, in which the buttocks or feet of a baby are delivered first. The idea of ‘back’ or ‘end’ is also preserved in the breech of a gun, the back part of the barrel.

Definition of breeches in:
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