[noun breech; verb breech, brich]
- the lower, rear part of the trunk of the body; buttocks.
- the hinder or lower part of anything.
- Ordnance. the rear part of the bore of a gun, especially the opening and associated mechanism that permits insertion of a projectile.
- Machinery. the end of a block or pulley farthest from the supporting hook or eye.
- Nautical. the outside angle of a knee in the frame of a ship.
- Ordnance. to fit or furnish (a gun) with a breech.
- to clothe with breeches.
Origin of breech
before 1000; Middle English breeche, Old English brēc, plural of brōc; cognate with Old Norse brōk, Old High German bruoh
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for breech
This is exactly the breech into which progressive women should step.Dems Need a Bachmann!
September 10, 2011
He laid his hand on the breech of the gun that bore Don Diego.Captain Blood
The Padre nodded while he bent over the breech of his Winchester.The Golden Woman
He caught it and broke it at the breech, ejecting the two shells; one of them was empty.In a Little Town
He opened it at the breech, put something in, and snapped the breech-block.The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle
They wore only leggings, shirts, breech clouts and a blanket.Old Rail Fence Corners
- the lower dorsal part of the human trunk; buttocks; rump
- the lower part or bottom of somethingthe breech of the bridge
- the lower portion of a pulley block, esp the part to which the rope or chain is secured
- the part of a firearm behind the barrel or bore
- obstetrics short for breech delivery
- to fit (a gun) with a breech
- archaic to clothe in breeches or any other clothing
See also breeches
Old English brēc, plural of brōc leg covering; related to Old Norse brōk, Old High German bruoh
Breech is sometimes wrongly used as a verb where breach is meant: the barrier/agreement was breached (not breeched)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for breech
"back part of a gun or firearm," 1570s, from singular of breeches (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The lower rear portion of the human trunk; the buttocks.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.