blue jeans

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noun (used with a plural verb)
close-fitting trousers made of blue denim or denimlike fabric, having pockets and seams often reinforced with rivets, and worn originally as work pants but now also as casual attire by persons of all ages.Compare jean (def. 2), Levi's.
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Origin of blue jeans

First recorded in 1850–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What are blue jeans?

Blue jeans are a type of pants traditionally made from denim (a kind of cotton fabric).

Blue jeans are commonly just called jeans. Jeans can be other colors, but they’re most commonly blue. The defining feature of most jeans is that they’re made out of some kind of denim or denim-like fabric. Most jeans have seams and pockets that are reinforced with rivets—small metal fasteners.

The word jeans can technically be used to refer to pants made from other materials, such as corduroy, but this isn’t common. For example, pants made out of corduroy are commonly called corduroys.

Blue jeans were originally worn as pants for rugged work, but they are now most commonly worn as casual attire.

Like the words pants and trousers, jeans is always used in the plural form when referring to the pants.

The word jean (without an s at the end) can be used to refer to the material and is typically used as a modifier to describe garments that are made of this material, as in jean jacket or jean shorts.

Example: I love being able to wear blue jeans to work on casual Fridays.

Where does blue jeans come from?

The first records of the term blue jeans in reference to the pants come from the mid-1800s. The first jeans were produced by tailor Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss of Levi Strauss & Co. Levi’s, as they came to be called, were originally created for and used by miners.

The word jeans is derived from the term jean fustian, in which fustian refers to a kind of fabric and jean comes from Gene, in reference to Genoa, Italy—where such fabric was known for being manufactured.

Today, jeans are made from a variety of fabrics and fabric blends, but they’re still called jeans if they resemble denim blue jeans. (Some people draw the line at jeggings—denim leggings that resemble tight-fitting jeans.)

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to blue jeans?

  • blue jean (noun, adjective)

What are some synonyms for blue jeans?

What are some words that share a root or word element with blue jeans



What are some words that often get used in discussing blue jeans?


How is blue jeans used in real life?

Blue jeans are very popular casualwear that some people also wear as rugged work pants.


Try using blue jeans!

True or False? 

If pants are called blue jeans, it means they are made out of 100% denim cotton.

How to use blue jeans in a sentence