See also: breach

English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English breche, from Old English brēċ, from Proto-Germanic *brōkiz pl, from Proto-Germanic *brōks (clothing for loins and thighs). Cognate with Dutch broek, Alemannic German Bruech, Swedish brok. Doublet of vraka.

Pronunciation edit

Breeches (sense 1)

Noun edit

breech (countable and uncountable, plural breeches)

  1. (historical, now only in the plural or attributive) A garment whose purpose is to cover or clothe the buttocks. [from 11th c.]
    • 1992, Tamora Pierce, Wild Magic, New York, N.Y.: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, →ISBN, page 57:
      The stallion lipped Alanna’s breech pockets. “He’s spoiled rotten.” Fishing a lump of sugar out, she fed it to him.
    • 2009, John C[oyne] McManus, American Courage, American Carnage: 7th Infantry Chronicles: The 7th Infantry Regiment’s Combat Experience, 1812 Through World War II, New York, N.Y.: Forge, →ISBN, pages 244–245:
      The typical American combat soldier in World War I wore an olive-drab tunic, stiff at the neck, breech-style trousers, and combat shoes with canvas leggings or, preferably, wrappings.
    • 2015, David Nabhan, The Pilots of Borealis, London: Gollancz, published 2020, →ISBN:
      He reached into his breech pockets. They were huge, but well-tailored and disguised properly within the folds of the pants.
  2. (now rare) The buttocks or backside. [from 16th c.]
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, Kupperman, published 1988, page 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, chapter VIII, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volumes (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar, [], →OCLC, book III:
      "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. (firearms) The part of a cannon or other firearm behind the chamber. [from 16th c.]
    Coordinate term: muzzle
  4. (nautical) The external angle of knee timber, the inside of which is called the throat.
  5. (obstetrics) A breech birth.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Adverb edit

breech (not comparable)

  1. (obstetrics, of birth) With the hips coming out before the head.

Derived terms edit

Adjective edit

breech (not comparable)

  1. (obstetrics) Born, or having been born, breech.

Translations edit

Verb edit

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 (the breeching ceremony).
  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.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

See also edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit