breeching

[brich-ing, bree-ching]
noun
1.
the part of a harness that passes around the haunches of a horse. See illus. under harness.
2.
a smoke pipe connecting one or more boilers with a chimney.
3.
Navy. (formerly) a strong rope fastened to a ship's side for securing a gun or checking its recoil.

Origin:
1505–15; breech + -ing1

Dictionary.com Unabridged

breech

[n. breech; v. breech, brich]
noun
1.
the lower, rear part of the trunk of the body; buttocks.
2.
the hinder or lower part of anything.
3.
Ordnance. the rear part of the bore of a gun, especially the opening and associated mechanism that permits insertion of a projectile.
4.
Machinery. the end of a block or pulley farthest from the supporting hook or eye.
5.
Nautical. the outside angle of a knee in the frame of a ship.
verb (used with object)
6.
Ordnance. to fit or furnish (a gun) with a breech.
7.
to clothe with breeches.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English breeche, Old English brēc, plural of brōc; cognate with Old Norse brōk, Old High German bruoh

unbreeched, adjective

breach, breech (see synonym study at breach).
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
breech
 
n
1.  the lower dorsal part of the human trunk; buttocks; rump
2.  the lower part or bottom of something: the breech of the bridge
3.  the lower portion of a pulley block, esp the part to which the rope or chain is secured
4.  the part of a firearm behind the barrel or bore
5.  obstetrics short for breech delivery
 
vb
6.  to fit (a gun) with a breech
7.  archaic to clothe in breeches or any other clothing
 
usage  Breech is sometimes wrongly used as a verb where breach is meant: the barrier/agreement was breached (not breeched)

breeching (ˈbrɪtʃɪŋ, ˈbriː-)
 
n
1.  the strap of a harness that passes behind a horse's haunches
2.  navy (formerly) the rope used to check the recoil run of a ship's guns or to secure them against rough weather
3.  the parts comprising the breech of a gun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

breech
"back part of a gun or firearm," 1570s, from sing. of breeches (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

breech (brēch)
n.
The lower rear portion of the human trunk; the buttocks.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Provide a double wall, factory-fabricated, positive pressure breeching and
  stack system.
Cleaning and inspection of chimneys or breeching is not included in this work.
The fan speed will modulate to maintain a constant boiler breeching pressure.
Color to match brickwork sheet metal covering on breeching outside of exterior
  wall of boiler house.
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