Definition of pants in English:

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Pronunciation: /pan(t)s/

plural noun

1British Underpants or knickers.
Example sentences
  • The chaps Tom and I have styled all bought pants or boxers and vests and have all reported back that they are soft, fit really well and that their women think they look much better.
  • Many stores now sell bikinis as separates, so you can buy the pants and bra in different sizes to ensure a perfect fit.
  • Department store Marks & Spencer is launching an underwear range for men featuring thongs and glittery pants.
underpants, briefs, Y-fronts, boxer shorts, boxers, long johns, knickers, French knickers, bikini briefs;
G-string, thong;
British  tanga briefs, camiknickers;
North American  shorts, undershorts
informal panties, undies, frillies
British informal kecks, smalls
dated drawers, bloomers
North American dated step-ins
historical pantalettes, Directoire drawers
2chiefly North American Trousers: corduroy pants (as modifier pant) wide pant legs
More example sentences
  • The women that Isis had a glimpse of wore either bell-bottomed trousers, denim pants, or blue jeans.
  • The shirts tucked into tight, ebony brown rawhide pants, trousers designed to keep the warmth in and the cold out.
  • Lord I am so grateful for drawstring pants and trousers with elastic.
3British informal Rubbish; nonsense: he thought we were going to be absolute pants
More example sentences
  • It's not art - it's pants.
  • I thought I'd give it a go. Unfortunatly, I'd not looked at the opinions of others on Ciao..........boy, do I wish I had! It's pants. It really is a poor program.



catch someone with their pants (or trousers) down

informal Catch someone in an embarrassingly unprepared state: it’s a wonder the government hasn’t been caught with its pants down
More example sentences
  • In Australia we were caught with our pants down when our nurses began to strike.
  • I mean, I knew the guy was a rotten apple, I knew what he was up to, and he still managed to catch me with my pants down because I simply didn't pay attention at the right time… ah, figuratively speaking, of course.
  • I could not believe the irony of the fact that for our one and only sighting of this most secretive of creatures I had been caught with my pants down, both metaphorically and literally speaking.

fly (or drive) by the seat of one's pants

informal Rely on instinct rather than logic or knowledge: I was flying by the seat of my pants because I’d never managed anybody before
More example sentences
  • After finding fame and success you can't just fly by the seat of your pants (when it comes to creativity).
  • Be prepared and don't fly by the seat of your pants.
  • Well, ‘something came up’ and they didn't show up, so I was stuck with teaching it, trying to fly by the seat of my pants.

scare (or bore etc.) the pants off someone

informal Make someone extremely scared (or bored etc.): she scared the pants off all who worked with her
More example sentences
  • It's a fine line between motivating people to stop smoking and scaring the pants off them.
  • If there is one category of horror movies that scares the pants off me, it's zombies, and this remake certainly got me jumping and twitching in my seat.
  • There is a class of person who delights in trying to scare the pants off you with appalling tales of child-rearing horror.


Mid 19th century: abbreviation of pantaloons (see pantaloon).

  • pantaloons from late 16th century:

    In Italian Pantalone, was one of the stock characters in the Italian theatre called the commedia dell'arte, which was popular from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and later in English pantomime. In the Italian tradition he was a foolish old man in a predominantly red costume that included long close-fitting trousers that covered the feet. These trousers must have made an impression, as from the 17th century the name pantaloons was given to a succession of styles, including that worn by Pantaloon himself. In the USA from the mid 19th century pantaloons was a name for any trousers, hence the modern term pants (mid 19th century). See zany

Words that rhyme with pants

Hants, Northants

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pants

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