Share this entry

Share this page

trousers

Syllabification: trou·sers
Pronunciation: /ˈtrouzərz
 
/
(also a pair of trousers)

Definition of trousers in English:

plural noun

An outer garment covering the body from the waist to the ankles, with a separate part for each leg.
Example sentences
  • But weeks later, a package arrived direct from the designer containing two pairs of trousers, two shirts, dress shoes, trainers and a belt.
  • The ordinary clothing of Afghani men is a rather baggy pair of trousers with a draw-string at the waist, and a loose, long-sleeved shirt reaching about to the knees.
  • Many men had suits made to measure with two pairs of trousers as the coats and waistcoats usually outlasted one pair of trousers.

Origin

early 17th century: from archaic trouse (singular), from Irish triús and Scottish Gaelic triubhas (see trews), on the pattern of drawers.

More
  • Scottish Highlanders and Irishmen once wore a trouse or trouses, a kind of knee-length shorts whose name came from Irish triús or Scottish Gaelic triubhas. The same words gave us trews (mid 16th century), once similar to the trouse but now close-fitting tartan trousers as worn by some Scottish regiments. In the early 17th century people started calling the trouse trousers, on the analogy of drawers (probably from their being things that you pull or draw on). Until the end of the 18th century men in Europe wore tight breeches—looser trousers were adopted by the working classes during the French Revolution, and the style imported to Britain by dandies like Beau Brummell. The dominant member of a married couple wears the trousers now, and has done since the 1930s, but long before that the phrase was wear the breeches, recorded from the 16th century. See also pants, tweezers

Derivatives

trousered

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • As one would expect from his earlier dramatic studies of Berlin and New York, his bumper book of Shanghai is neither the work of a ragged trousered philanthropist, nor easy reading for the rabid metropolitan booster.
  • Robson indicates a trousered leg: ‘I've got terrific knees, ankles and hips - no arthritis.’
  • He moved back close to me and started stroking my trousered thigh up and down, up and down, gently, absent-mindedly.

Definition of trousers in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something