from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Breeches.
  • idiom too big for (one's) britches Overconfident; cocky.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Pants, trousers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. informal term for breeches


Alteration of breeches, pl. of breech.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration of breeches ("trousers, pantaloons") in use since at least the 18th century in Britain and British colonies. (Wiktionary)


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  • "Newfoundland fishermen also prize the female gonads, a two-pronged organ they call the britches, because its shape resembles a pair of pants. Britches are fried like sounds." (see isinglass)
    —Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (New York: Penguin, 1997), 34

    July 14, 2009