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[pan-tl-oon] /ˌpæn tlˈun/
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.
(usually initial capital letter). Also, Pantalone
[pan-tl-oh-ney, pahn-; Italian pahn-tah-law-ne] /ˌpæn tlˈoʊ neɪ, ˌpɑn-; Italian ˌpɑn tɑˈlɔ nɛ/ (Show IPA)
. (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.
(in the modern pantomime) a foolish, vicious old man, the butt and accomplice of the clown.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pantaloon
Historical Examples
  • First, he counted the sausages, and said that they were two short, and he found the missing two up the pantaloon's sleeve.

    The Little White Bird J. M. Barrie
  • "That is the delusion proper to Pierrot," said pantaloon, contemptuously.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • How often have we wished that the pantaloon were our god-father!

    Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi Joseph Grimaldi
  • "That is a very original and profound discovery," said pantaloon, quite seriously.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • A comical creature, surely, this Chinaman, the pantaloon of civilization.

    Idle Ideas in 1905 Jerome K. Jerome
  • A comrade slit down the leg of the pantaloon with a knife, when lo!

    The Citizen-Soldier John Beatty
  • Pierrot was left alone with pantaloon, who was asleep, for he was old and clowning fatigued him.

  • On a night of carnival how greedily the crowd assumes the pantaloon!

    Hints to Pilgrims Charles Stephen Brooks
  • The stage fight was full of pantomimic force; the leading soldier would make his fortune as a London pantaloon.

    Greater Britain Charles Wentworth Dilke
  • Can we doubt that this pantaloon had come from the Italian theatre, after what we have already said?

    A History of Pantomime R. J. Broadbent
British Dictionary definitions for pantaloon


noun (theatre)
(in pantomime) an absurd old man, the butt of the clown's tricks
(usually capital) (in commedia dell'arte) a lecherous old merchant dressed in pantaloons
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
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Word Origin and History for pantaloon



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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