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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 pantaloons
  • It's not every day that a museum explores the distinction between bloomers and pantaloons.
  • There is for a moment a sound of legs rushing into pantaloons and arms plunging into jackets.
  • Long knit pantaloons, and a pair of lacing-boots, seemed the true garb of a pedestrian.
  • They wore colorful tunics, some of which were decorated with flower patterns, and billowy pantaloons.
  • But there they were, diapers as puffy as pantaloons.
  • Her costume--harem pantaloons, short bolero with coin decorations--set tongues wagging.
  • The flowers resemble pantaloons hanging upside down and slightly inflated.
  • Long hairs on the legs give the appearance that the goat is wearing pantaloons.
  • The prisoners received soup in boots, bootleg buckets, and drawer and pantaloons legs secured at the bottom.
  • Long hairs on the legs give the animal the appearance of wearing pantaloons.
British Dictionary definitions for pantaloons


plural noun
  1. (history) men'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
(informal or facetious) any trousers, esp baggy ones


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 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.



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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