See more synonyms for knickers on
noun (used with a plural verb)
  1. Also knick·er·bock·ers [nik-er-bok-erz] /ˈnɪk ərˌbɒk ərz/. loose-fitting short trousers gathered in at the knees.
  2. Chiefly British.
    1. a bloomerslike undergarment worn by women.
    2. panties.
  3. British Informal. a woman's or girl's short-legged underpants.
  1. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for knickers

Contemporary Examples of knickers

Historical Examples of knickers

  • 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


pl n
  1. an undergarment for women covering the lower trunk and sometimes the thighs and having separate legs or leg-holes
  2. a US variant of knickerbockers
  3. get one's knickers in a twist slang to become agitated, flustered, or upset

Word Origin for knickers

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

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