Share this entry

jeans Line breaks: jeans
Pronunciation: /dʒiːnz/

Definition of jeans in English:

plural noun

Hard-wearing casual trousers made of denim or other cotton fabric: he wore a pair of faded jeans and a white T-shirt
More example sentences
  • She was wearing blue denim jeans and a jacket, a long jumper and a small yellow metal ring decorated with bows.
  • He was wearing blue denim jeans, a white shirt with blue stripes in a criss-cross pattern.
  • Liz was wearing the new jeans, boots and denim blouse she had got at Christmas.


Mid 19th century: plural of jean.

  • Jeans go back to the late 15th century, when the name jean fustian was used for a kind of heavy cotton cloth. It meant literally ‘fustian (a type of cloth) from Genoa’, a city in Italy. Jeans as we know them today date from the 1860s, when Levi Strauss ( 1829–1902), founder of the Levi's company, started to make durable denim work trousers which became popular with cowboys in the Wild West. Denim (late 17th century) was originally serge denim, from French serge de Nîmes ‘serge of Nîmes’, a city in the south of France. Serge is a woollen cloth, but modern denim is made of cotton.

Definition of jeans in:

Share this entry


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 haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
arrogantly superior and disdainful