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[nik-erz] /ˈnɪk ərz/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
Also, knickerbockers
[nik-er-bok-erz] /ˈnɪk ərˌbɒk ərz/ (Show IPA)
. loose-fitting short trousers gathered in at the knees.
Chiefly British.
  1. a bloomerslike undergarment worn by women.
  2. panties.
British Informal. a woman's or girl's short-legged underpants.
to get one's knickers in a twist, British Slang. to get flustered or agitated:
Don't get your knickers in a twist every time the telephone rings.
Origin of knickers
1880-85; shortened form of knickerbockers, plural of knickerbocker, special use of Knickerbocker Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for knickers
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His knickers had dried upon him, but his coat was still very damp.

    The Girls of St. Olave's Mabel Mackintosh
  • "Damn his knickers," said Ranny to himself, behind his set teeth.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
  • They won't let her leave the Turkey-twill knickers and the short skirt.

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
  • It was not in that pocket, nor in the one on the other side, nor in his knickers.

    Wood Magic

    Richard Jefferies
  • She had risen and was drawing on her knickers when Attatak awakened.

    The Purple Flame Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for knickers


plural noun
an undergarment for women covering the lower trunk and sometimes the thighs and having separate legs or leg-holes
a US variant of knickerbockers
(slang) get one's knickers in a twist, to become agitated, flustered, or upset
Word Origin
C19: contraction of knickerbockers
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 knickers

"short, loose-fitting undergarment," now usually for women but not originally so, 1866, shortening of knickerbockers (1859), said to be so called for their resemblance to the trousers of old-time Dutchmen in Cruikshank's illustrations for Washington Irving's "History of New York" (see knickerbocker).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for knickers


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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