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Borrowed from French pantalon, from Italian Pantalone, a traditional character in 16th-century Italian comedy. See “Commedia dell'arte” in Wikipedia. The name is of Ancient Greek origin and loosely translates as "entirely lion." See παν (pan) and λέων (léōn).



pantaloon (plural pantaloons)

  1. An aging buffoon.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act III, Sc. 1, l. 37
      Hic ibat, as I told you before, —Simois, I am / Lucentio, hic est, son unto Vincentio of Pisa,— / Sigeia tellus, disguised thus to get your love; — / Hic steterat, and that Lucentio that comes / a-wooing, — Priami, is my man Tranio, — / regia, bearing my port, celsa senis, that we / might beguile the old pantaloon.
    • 1882, William Ballantine, Some Experiences of a Barrister's Life, page 234
      They constantly followed the virtuous pair, who as constantly eluded their grasp, whilst they themselves met with every kind of misfortune, until they became clown and pantaloon, […].
    • 1960, Lady Caroline Lane Reynolds Slemmer Jebb, With Dearest Love to All: The Life and Letters of Lady Jebb, page 213
      The Bishop is a lean and slippered pantaloon, at least in his old clerical garments which he thinks good enough for the sea.
  2. Trousers reminiscent of the tight-fitting leggings traditionally worn by a pantaloon.
  3. A kind of fabric.

Related terms[edit]