One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A strong leather strap passing round the hindquarters of a horse harnessed to a vehicle and enabling the horse to push backwards.
- ‘A cart has no brakes, so the horse is fitted with breechings around the hind legs to allow him to slow the vehicle.’
- ‘These connect to the breechings via the harness, and provide effectively both for steering and braking.’
- ‘The wheel-horses' breechings are independent of their collars.’
2historical A thick rope used to secure the carriages of cannon on a ship and to absorb the force of the recoil.
- ‘Are you a great gun yourself, that you so recoil, to the extremity of your breechings, at that discharge?’
- ‘The breechings of the carronades were lined with white canvas.’
- ‘In very bad weather, when the ship's rolling caused the guns to strain their fastenings, the breechings were doubled.’
- ‘The wire breechings of No.2 6-inch gun were carried away near the end of the firing.’
3The hair or wool on the hindquarters of an animal.
- ‘The breeching along the thigh is long and thick.’
- ‘The hair may be a little longer on breechings.’
- ‘Black is self-explanatory but some black Chows have silver shadings in tail or breechings.’
- ‘Feathering may occur on the ear fringes, legs, breeching, and tail.’
- ‘Silvering may appear in the undercoat, tail, under parts of the dog, or beneath the tail and breechings.’
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