breech

noun \ ˈbrēch \
Updated on: 25 May 2018

Definition of breech

1 breeches \ˈbri-chəz also ˈbrē-\ plural
a : short pants covering the hips and thighs and fitting snugly at the lower edges at or just below the knee
  • wearing riding breeches
b : pants
2 a : the hind end of the body : buttocks
b medical : breech presentation; also : a fetus that is presented with the buttocks first
3 : the part of a firearm at the rear of the barrel (see 1barrel 3a)

Examples of breech in a Sentence

  1. plant yourselves on your breeches on that bench and listen to what I have to say

  2. the mounted riders look striking in their red coats and white breeches

Recent Examples of breech from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breech.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Into the breech or the breach?

If you are about to provide some much-needed assistance in a situation do you get ready to step (or leap, or jump) into the breach or the breech? The former. The sense of breach this expression applies to is “a gap (as in a wall) made by battering.” Breech, on the other hand, refers most often to a part of a rifle (near the rear of the barrel), the buttocks, or short pants which cover the hips and thighs (this sense is always found used in the plural, breeches). You may, if you are in a state of undress, step into your breeches before you step into the breach, but you would never step into your breaches before stepping into the breech.

Origin and Etymology of breech

Middle English, breeches, from Old English brēc, plural of brōc leg covering; akin to Old High German bruoh breeches, Latin braca pants

Other Weapons and Explosives Terms


Medical Dictionary

1

breech

noun \ ˈbrēch \

medical Definition of breech

1 : the hind end of the body : buttocks
2 : breech presentation; also : a fetus that is presented at the uterine cervix buttocks or legs first

2

breech

adverb

medical Definition of breech

: in the manner of a breech delivery or breech presentation
  • her children were born breech
  • —Laura Cunningham
  • the baby birthed breech
  • —Jayne Anne Phillips


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