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breech

[noun breech; verb breech, brich] /noun britʃ; verb britʃ, brɪtʃ/
noun
1.
the lower, rear part of the trunk of the body; buttocks.
2.
the hinder or lower part of anything.
3.
Ordnance. the rear part of the bore of a gun, especially the opening and associated mechanism that permits insertion of a projectile.
4.
Machinery. the end of a block or pulley farthest from the supporting hook or eye.
5.
Nautical. the outside angle of a knee in the frame of a ship.
verb (used with object)
6.
Ordnance. to fit or furnish (a gun) with a breech.
7.
to clothe with breeches.
Origin of breech
1000
before 1000; Middle English breeche, Old English brēc, plural of brōc; cognate with Old Norse brōk, Old High German bruoh
Related forms
unbreeched, adjective
Can be confused
breach, breech (see synonym study at breach)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for breech
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A safety device prevents any shots from being fired until after the breech is closed.

  • Then he was represented by a youth who wore a breech cloth only.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • But the man spake not; he reclined motionless over the breech of the field piece.

  • He bore two riders, naked to the sun, save for breech clouts.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • They were loaded by movable chambers which fitted into the breech, and they were known as "crakys of war."

    On the Spanish Main John Masefield
  • In Marshall's opinion the breech between these kinsfolk ought not to be healed.

    Reels and Spindles Evelyn Raymond
  • The breech face marks, as well as the individual imperfections in the firing pin.

    Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • It is charged by a separate chamber, dropped into the breech and keyed.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Now, to screw this in and out of the breech of the gun would be a matter taking an appreciable time.

    The British Navy Book Cyril Field
British Dictionary definitions for breech

breech

noun (briːtʃ)
1.
the lower dorsal part of the human trunk; buttocks; rump
2.
the lower part or bottom of something: the breech of the bridge
3.
the lower portion of a pulley block, esp the part to which the rope or chain is secured
4.
the part of a firearm behind the barrel or bore
5.
(obstetrics) short for breech delivery
verb (transitive) (briːtʃ; brɪtʃ)
6.
to fit (a gun) with a breech
7.
(archaic) to clothe in breeches or any other clothing
See also breeches
Usage note
Breech is sometimes wrongly used as a verb where breach is meant: the barrier/agreement was breached (not breeched)
Word Origin
Old English brēc, plural of brōc leg covering; related to Old Norse brōk, Old High German bruoh
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
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Word Origin and History for breech
n.

"back part of a gun or firearm," 1570s, from singular of breeches (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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breech in Medicine

breech (brēch)
n.
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.
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13
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