breeches buoy


noun Nautical.

a rescue device consisting of a life buoy from which is suspended a canvas sling, similar in form to a pair of breeches, in which shipwrecked or disabled persons are hauled from a vessel to the shore or to another vessel by means of a rope and pulley between them.

Nearby words

  1. breech-loader,
  2. breech-loading,
  3. breechblock,
  4. breechcloth,
  5. breeches,
  6. breeches part,
  7. breeching,
  8. breechless,
  9. breechloader,
  10. breechloading

Origin of breeches buoy

First recorded in 1875–80 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for breeches buoy

British Dictionary definitions for breeches buoy

breeches buoy


a ring-shaped life buoy with a support in the form of a pair of short breeches, in which a person is suspended for safe transfer from a ship
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