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A man wearing breeches.

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English breches pl (also brechen), a variant of Middle English breche, brech, brek (breeches), from Old English brēċ (breeches), from Proto-Germanic *brōkiz pl (nom.acc.), from Proto-Germanic *brōks (trousers); 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.


  • (plural of breech):
    IPA(key): /ˈbɹiːtʃɪz/
  • (smallclothes; trousers):
    IPA(key): /ˈbɹɪtʃɪz/ (traditional)
    IPA(key): /ˈbɹiːtʃɪz/ (more recent spelling pronunciation)
  • Rhymes: -ɪtʃɪz, -iːtʃɪz



  1. plural of breech
  2. A garment worn by men, covering the hips and thighs; smallclothes.
    • 1829, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey, "The Devil's Thoughts,"
      And how then was the Devil drest?
      Oh! he was in his Sunday's best:
      His jacket was red and his breeches were blue,
      And there was a hole where the tail came through.
  3. (informal) Trousers; pantaloons.
    Synonyms: trousers, pants

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