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breech

[noun breech; verb breech, brich]
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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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. Ordnance. to fit or furnish (a gun) with a breech.
  2. to clothe with breeches.
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Origin of breech

before 1000; Middle English breeche, Old English brēc, plural of brōc; cognate with Old Norse brōk, Old High German bruoh
Related formsun·breeched, adjective
Can be confusedbreach breech (see synonym study at breach)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for breeched

drape, swaddle, swathe, fit, cloak, disguise, attire, equip, dress, gown, vest, habit, accouter, garb, mantle, costume, spruce, rig, array, endue

Examples from the Web for breeched

Historical Examples of breeched

  • He became an inexplicable creature; a breeched and booted Sphinx.

    Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit

    Charles Dickens

  • Any one who is breeched can obtain a licence in our noble country.

  • Times never will change—to what they were when you were breeched—but that's a detail.

    Young Blood

    E. W. Hornung

  • Little Edward was breeched yesterday for good and all, and was whipped into the bargain.

  • I was just the same when I was a boy; began to go to the devil before I was breeched.


British Dictionary definitions for breeched

breech

noun (briːtʃ)
  1. the lower dorsal part of the human trunk; buttocks; rump
  2. the lower part or bottom of somethingthe 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
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verb (briːtʃ, brɪtʃ) (tr)
  1. to fit (a gun) with a breech
  2. archaic to clothe in breeches or any other clothing
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See also breeches

Word Origin for breech

Old English brēc, plural of brōc leg covering; related to Old Norse brōk, Old High German bruoh

usage

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 breeched

breech

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

breeched in Medicine

breech

(brēch)
n.
  1. The lower rear portion of the human trunk; the buttocks.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.