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See more synonyms for pantaloon on Thesaurus.com
  1. pantaloons, a man's close-fitting garment for the hips and legs, worn especially in the 19th century, but varying in form from period to period; trousers.
  2. (usually initial capital letter) Also Pan·ta·lo·ne [pan-tl-oh-ney, pahn-; Italian pahn-tah-law-ne] /ˌpæn tlˈoʊ neɪ, ˌpɑn-; Italian ˌpɑn tɑˈlɔ nɛ/. (in commedia dell'arte) a foolish old Venetian merchant, usually the head of a household, generally lascivious and frequently deceived in the course of lovers' intrigues.
  3. (in the modern pantomime) a foolish, vicious old man, the butt and accomplice of the clown.
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Origin of pantaloon

1580–90; < Middle French Pantalon < Upper Italian (Venetian) Pantalone nickname for a Venetian, variant of Pantaleone, name of a 4th-century saint once a favorite of the Venetians
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

jokester, clown, trousers, underpants, shorts, knickers, fool, madcap, trickster, antic, harlequin, wag, actor, joker, wit, comedian, buffoon, comic, humorist

Examples from the Web for pantaloons

Historical Examples

  • Is there any man who cannot count a dozen pantaloons in his own social circle?

    The Mudfog and Other Sketches

    Charles Dickens

  • Then I could have dressed Maria up in pantaloons, and made a grandfather of her.

  • He bounced out of bed and pulled on his pantaloons, and was down-stairs in a minute.

  • I think I shall have to get some one to reseat my pantaloons.'

  • There was nothing outré about either the shirt, the pantaloons, the head-dress, or foot-gear.

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for pantaloons


pl n
    1. historymen's tight-fitting trousers, esp those fastening under the instep worn in the late 18th and early 19th centuries
    2. children's trousers resembling these
  1. informal, or facetious any trousers, esp baggy ones
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noun theatre
  1. (in pantomime) an absurd old man, the butt of the clown's tricks
  2. (usually capital) (in commedia dell'arte) a lecherous old merchant dressed in pantaloons
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Word Origin

C16: from French Pantalon, from Italian Pantalone, local nickname for a Venetian, probably from San Pantaleone, a fourth-century Venetian saint
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 pantaloons


1660s, "kind of tights" (originally a French fashion and execrated as such by late 17c. English writers), associated with Pantaloun (1580s), silly old man character in Italian comedy who wore tight trousers over his skinny legs, from Italian Pantalone, originally San Pantaleone, Christian martyr, a popular saint in Venice (Pantaleone in the comedies represents the Venetian). The name is of Greek origin and means "all-compassionate" (or, according to Klein, "entirely lion"). Applied to tight long trousers (replacing knee-breeches) by 1798; pants is a shortened form first recorded 1840.

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skinny, foolish old man in Italian comedy, 1580s; see pantaloons. As a kind of leggings, 1660s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper