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See also: Hose, hōse, and hőse


A US naval officer using a fire hose
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From Middle English hose (leggings, hose), from Old English hose, hosa (hose, leggings), from Proto-Germanic *husǭ (coverings, leggings, trousers), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kew- (to cover). Compare West Frisian hoas (hose), Dutch hoos (stocking, water-hose), German Hose (trousers). Compare Tocharian A kać (skin), Russian кишка́ (kišká, gut), Ancient Greek κύστις (kústis, bladder), Sanskrit कोष्ठ (koṣṭha, intestine). More at sky.



hose (countable and uncountable, plural hoses or hosen)

  1. (countable) A flexible tube conveying water or other fluid.
  2. (uncountable) A stocking-like garment worn on the legs; pantyhose, women's tights.
  3. (obsolete) Close-fitting trousers or breeches, reaching to the knee.
    • Bible, Daniel iii. 21
      These men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments.
    • Shakespeare
      His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide / For his shrunk shank.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (garment covering legs) Formerly a male garment covering the lower body, with the upper body covered by a doublet. By the 16th century hose had separated into two garments, stocken and breeches. Since the 1920's, hose refers mostly to women's stockings or pantyhose

Derived terms[edit]



hose (third-person singular simple present hoses, present participle hosing, simple past and past participle hosed)

  1. (transitive) To water or spray with a hose.
    • 1995, Vivian Russell, Monet's Garden: Through the Seasons at Giverny[1], →ISBN, page 83:
      Only days before the garden opens, the concrete is hosed down with a high-pressure jet and scrubbed.
  2. (transitive) To deliver using a hose.
    • 2003, Tony Hillerman, The Sinister Pig, →ISBN, page 57:
      He had just finished hosing gasoline into his tank, a short man, burly, needing a shave, and wearing greasy coveralls.
  3. (transitive) To provide with hose (garment)
    • 1834 July to December, Pierce Pungent, “Men and Manners”, in Fraser's magazine for town and country[2], volume X, page 416:
      The mighty mass of many a mingled race,
      Who dwell in towns where he pursued the chase;
      The men degenerate shirted, cloaked, and hosed-
      Nose and eyes only to the day exposed
  4. (transitive) To attack and kill somebody, usually using a firearm.
    • 2003, John R. Bruning, Jungle ace[3], Brassey's, →ISBN, page 136:
      His guns hosed down the vessel's decks, sweeping them clear of sailors, blowing holes in the bulkheads, and smashing gun positions.
  5. (transitive) To trick or deceive.
    • 1995, Keath Fraser, Popular anatomy[4], The Porcupine's Quill, →ISBN, page 458:
      Bartlett elaborated on what had happened at the warehouse, saying he thought Chandar was supposed to have advised, not hosed him.
  6. (transitive, computing) To break a computer so everything needs to be reinstalled; to wipe all files.
    • 2006 Spring, Joel Durham Jr., “Pimp Out Win XP with TweakUI”, in Maximum PC[5], Future US, Inc., ISSN 1522-4279, page 63:
      There aren't any tricky hexadecimal calculations to snare your brain, nor is there a need to worry about hosing the registry for all eternity.
  7. (transitive, sports) To cause an unfair disadvantage to a player or team through poor officiating; especially, to cause a player or team to lose the game with an incorrect call.

Derived terms[edit]