Last modified on 5 October 2014, at 19:28

breech

See also: breach

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Old English brēċ, plural of *brōc, from Proto-Germanic *brōks (clothing for loins and thighs). Cognate with Dutch broek, Alemannic German Brüch, Swedish brok.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

breech (countable and uncountable, plural breeches)

  1. (historical, now only in the plural) A garment whose purpose is to cover or clothe the buttocks. [from 11th c.]
  2. (now rare) The buttocks or backside. [from 16th c.]
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, p. 157:
      And he made a woman for playing the whore, sit upon a great stone, on her bare breech twenty-foure houres, onely with corne and water, every three dayes, till nine dayes were past [...].
    • 1736, Alexander Pope, Bounce to Fop:
      When pamper'd Cupids, bestly Veni's, / And motly, squinting Harvequini's, / Shall lick no more their Lady's Br—, / But die of Looseness, Claps, or Itch; / Fair Thames from either ecchoing Shoare / Shall hear, and dread my manly Roar.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Book III ch viii
      "Oho!" says Thwackum, "you will not! then I will have it out of your br—h;" that being the place to which he always applied for information on every doubtful occasion.
  3. The part of a cannon or other firearm behind the chamber. [from 16th c.]
  4. (nautical) The external angle of knee timber, the inside of which is called the throat.
  5. A breech birth.

TranslationsEdit

AdverbEdit

breech (not comparable)

  1. With the hips coming out before the head.

AdjectiveEdit

breech (not comparable)

  1. Born, or having been born, breech.

TranslationsEdit

Derived termsEdit

VerbEdit

breech (third-person singular simple present breeches, present participle breeching, simple past and past participle breeched)

  1. (dated, transitive) To dress in breeches. (especially) To dress a boy in breeches or trousers for the first time.
    • 1748-1832, Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, Volume 10:
      [] it occurred before I was breeched, and I was breeched at three years and a quarter old;
    • Macaulay
      A great man [] anxious to know whether the blacksmith's youngest boy was breeched.
  2. (dated, transitive) To beat or spank on the buttocks.
  3. (transitive) To fit or furnish with a breech.
    to breech a gun
  4. (transitive) To fasten with breeching.
  5. (poetic, transitive, obsolete) To cover as if with breeches.
    • Shakespeare
      Their daggers unmannerly breeched with gore.

See alsoEdit