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or less commonly pant chiefly US : an outer garment covering each leg separately and usually extending from the waist to the ankle
a pair of pants
wearing short/long pants
often used before another noun
a pants leg
sometimes used in the singular form pant especially before another noun and in clothing catalogs
a pant leg
a classic khaki pant
chiefly British : men's underpants
: pantie


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pantsed; pantsing; pantses

transitive verb

US, informal : to yank down the pants of (someone) as a prank or joke
Sandler plays Dave Buznik, a Brooklyn-born wimp, a patsy, a schlemiel so mild-mannered he makes other people want to pants him.Lisa Schwarzbaum
"I was standing on the corner with my friends and we saw some girls we knew from school," recalled Robert Alicea … "They were walking past when my friend decided it would be funny to pants me. The girls started yelling and pointing—it was horrible!"Greg Downing
with one's pants down
US, informal
: in an embarrassing position (as of being unprepared to act)

Word History



short for pantaloons


derivative of pants entry 1

First Known Use


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1945, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pants was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near pants

Cite this Entry

“Pants.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


noun plural
: an outer garment extending from the waist to the ankle and covering each leg separately : trousers
: underpants
especially : pantie

Noun plural

a shortened form of pantaloons "trousers," from Pantaloon, Pantalone, name of a clown in stage entertainment

Word Origin
A form of comic entertainment that had its start in Italy became popular throughout Europe several hundred years ago. A small group of actors would put on a play with a standard set of humorous characters. One character was a bad-tempered old man called Pantalone or Pantaloon. Pantaloon always wore tight-fitting trousers and stockings. Such clothing became known as pantaloons. The word pantaloons was later used for various types of trousers and is still sometimes heard today. The usual term now, however, is pants, which is short for pantaloons.

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