Definitions

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

  • n. Men's wide breeches extending from waist to ankle, worn especially in England in the late 17th century. Often used in the plural.
  • n. Tight trousers extending from waist to ankle with straps passing under the instep, worn especially in the 19th century. Often used in the plural.
  • n. Trousers; pants. Often used in the plural.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An aging buffoon.
  • n. Trousers reminiscent of the tight-fitting leggings traditionally worn by a pantaloon.
  • n. A kind of fabric.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A ridiculous character, or an old dotard, in the Italian comedy; also, a buffoon in pantomimes.
  • n. A bifurcated garment for a man, covering the body from the waist downwards, and consisting of breeches and stockings in one.
  • n. In recent times, a loose-fitting variety of Trousers, often of less than ankle length.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In early Italian comedy, a character usually represented as a lean and foolish old man (properly a Venetian), wearing spectacles and slippers.
  • n. In mod. Pantomime, a character usually represented as a foolish and vicious old man, the butt of the clown, and his accomplice in all his wicked and funny pranks.

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

  • n. a character in the commedia dell'arte; portrayed as a foolish old man
  • n. a buffoon in modern pantomimes; the butt of jokes
  • n. trousers worn in former times

Etymologies

French pantalon, a kind of trouser, from Pantalon, Pantaloon; see Pantaloon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French pantalon, from Italian Pantaleone, 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 and λέων. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Clowns and Pantaloons in our Pantomimes: though Colney says that the multiplication of the pantaloon is a distinct advance to representative truth -- and bother Colney!

    One of Our Conquerors — Complete

  • Pantaloons in our Pantomimes: though Colney says that the multiplication of the pantaloon is a distinct advance to representative truth -- and bother Colney!

    One of Our Conquerors — Volume 1

  • Pants come from the word "pantaloon" which was originally underwear.

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • His neighbor perhaps will be an old gentleman, the very type of the old "pantaloon" whose mask was in the old comedy supposed to be the impersonation of

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 85, January, 1875

  • The principal one resembled the clown of modern pantomime; another was a kind of pantaloon or charlatan, and much of the rest consisted of practical jokes, like that of the Italian Polincinella.

    Handbook of Universal Literature From the Best and Latest Authorities

  • I've owned and worn pantaloon and tunic sets in bright, cool cottons; let me be the first to recommend these, also I've worn the Malaysian tunic and long pleated skirt sets; also incredibly comfortable; remember, these styles have been developed and worn by people who live in tropical heat year in, year out.

    Norwegian Artist Hans Gude, 1825-1903

  • The first non-Discworld Pratchett in decades has the familiar mix of serious plotting and underlying farce, as an iconoclastic Polynesian lad and a properly raised Victorian lass carry on through tsunami, plague, shipwreck, pigs, pantaloon birds, gods, grandparents and cannibals.

    Stromata Blog:

  • I see the nest and drink in the localities of the nest and cross from the nest to the nest across pantaloon bridges and floating portcullises in the nest.

    The Nest

  • Am I not beyond reading of a fine leg in a yellow pantaloon and a snowy white cravat, tied just so?

    Gilded Romances Of Dashing Dandies, Brooding Beaus

  • Plunkett, her name was, the sporty young wife of an elderly pantaloon who was a High Court judge or something of that order.

    THE NUMBERS

Comments

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  • ...his hair was black and unconscious of a curl, his face lengthened, his complexion olive-coloured, his mouth retiring inwards, with the sharp-pointed, turn-up chin of a pantaloon.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 11 ch. 2

    October 10, 2008