Definition of pants in English:

pants

plural noun

  • 1British Underpants or knickers.

    • ‘The chaps Tom and I have styled all bought pants or boxers and vests and have all reported back that they are soft, fit really well and that their women think they look much better.’
    • ‘Many stores now sell bikinis as separates, so you can buy the pants and bra in different sizes to ensure a perfect fit.’
    • ‘She was dressed in green Marks and Spencer jeans, socks, white bra and black pants.’
    • ‘Department store Marks & Spencer is launching an underwear range for men featuring thongs and glittery pants.’
    • ‘A 50 year old scientist burnt his private parts whilst using his laptop whilst wearing trousers and pants.’
    • ‘They have reliably informed us that Chris does NOT wear his pants outside his trousers.’
    • ‘I was standing in my bra and pants (both white) and a pair of black ankle socks.’
    underpants, briefs, y-fronts, boxer shorts, boxers, long johns, knickers, french knickers, bikini briefs
    View synonyms
  • 2North American Trousers:

    ‘corduroy pants’
    ‘wide pant legs’
    • ‘Lord I am so grateful for drawstring pants and trousers with elastic.’
    • ‘He laughed and gestured to his white shirt, smart black pants, black tie and white cloth draped over his arm.’
    • ‘Nearly every other day at school, I wore combat boots, cook pants, a white shirt, suspenders, and a bowler.’
    • ‘I changed out of my pajama pants and tank top, and into a pair of flared jeans and a blue halter-top, that matched my eyes.’
    • ‘The shirts tucked into tight, ebony brown rawhide pants, trousers designed to keep the warmth in and the cold out.’
    • ‘First of all, suspenders should only be worn with dressy pants, not with jeans or khakis.’
    • ‘He slipped into a pair of dark blue trousers, but the pants were new and the tail opening was tighter than he was comfortable with.’
    • ‘I cannot make him change this format, so I decided to buy him some new pants and shirts.’
    • ‘She's in a white undershirt and black jogging pants and flip-flops.’
    • ‘We were both wearing quite casual attire - black pants, white shirt, tailored black jackets.’
    • ‘They wore trousers or pants as opposed to the knee-britches of their social superiors.’
    • ‘He wore a skin tight black muscle shirt, thick black jean pants, and gauntlets with open fingers.’
    • ‘The women that Isis had a glimpse of wore either bell-bottomed trousers, denim pants, or blue jeans.’
    • ‘She is wearing flannel pajama pants and an old tank top.’
    • ‘Rachel came to the door in a white tank top shirt and casual jean pants.’
    • ‘The stranger was dressed in a dark fur cloak with dark gray pants and an ash vest with a white short sleeve shirt underneath.’
    • ‘Wear a nice pair of classy pants, a matching shirt and elegant shoes, to be on the safe side.’
    • ‘He was a short-framed man, dressed in a dark-green vest and combat pants.’
    • ‘Many Nigerien men wear a flowing, sleeveless brocade gown over a matching shirt and drawstring pants.’
    • ‘He wore all black by way of a silken shirt, leather pants and combat boots.’
  • 3British informal Rubbish; nonsense:

    ‘he thought we were going to be absolute pants’
    • ‘It's not art - it's pants.’
    • ‘I thought I'd give it a go. Unfortunatly, I'd not looked at the opinions of others on Ciao..........boy, do I wish I had! It's pants. It really is a poor program.’
    substandard, poor, inferior, second-rate, second-class, unsatisfactory, inadequate, unacceptable, not up to scratch, not up to par, deficient, imperfect, defective, faulty, shoddy, amateurish, careless, negligent
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • catch someone with their pants (or trousers) down

    • informal Catch someone in an embarrassingly unprepared state:

      ‘it's a wonder the government hasn't been caught with its pants down’
      • ‘In Australia we were caught with our pants down when our nurses began to strike.’
      • ‘I mean, I knew the guy was a rotten apple, I knew what he was up to, and he still managed to catch me with my pants down because I simply didn't pay attention at the right time… ah, figuratively speaking, of course.’
      • ‘Arrogance and complacency has cost them dearly as the market has moved on and they have been caught with their pants down.’
      • ‘I could not believe the irony of the fact that for our one and only sighting of this most secretive of creatures I had been caught with my pants down, both metaphorically and literally speaking.’
  • fly (or drive) by the seat of one's pants

    • informal Rely on instinct rather than logic or knowledge:

      ‘I was flying by the seat of my pants because I'd never managed anybody before’
      • ‘Many students in the WPI sections I've taught seemed to be flying by the seat of their pants all semester.’
      • ‘Well, ‘something came up’ and they didn't show up, so I was stuck with teaching it, trying to fly by the seat of my pants.’
      • ‘After finding fame and success you can't just fly by the seat of your pants (when it comes to creativity).’
      • ‘Sometimes I feel as if I fly by the seat of my pants when I'm trying to write a chapter.’
      • ‘Be prepared and don't fly by the seat of your pants.’
  • put one's pants on one leg at a time

    • informal Be an ordinary person with the usual flaws and limitations:

      ‘he's no better than you just because he coaches football, he puts his pants on one leg at a time too’
  • scare (or bore etc.) the pants off someone

    • informal Make someone extremely scared (or bored etc.):

      ‘she scared the pants off all who worked with her’
      • ‘I promise not to bore the pants off you with my holiday snaps when I come back.’
      • ‘There is a class of person who delights in trying to scare the pants off you with appalling tales of child-rearing horror.’
      • ‘It's a fine line between motivating people to stop smoking and scaring the pants off them.’
      • ‘If there is one category of horror movies that scares the pants off me, it's zombies, and this remake certainly got me jumping and twitching in my seat.’
      • ‘[It has] dialogue to bore the pants off you even if the play were not stretched out beyond endurance.’
  • wear the pants

    • informal Be the dominant partner in a relationship:

      ‘there's no doubt who'll wear the pants in that house’

Origin

Mid 19th century: abbreviation of pantaloons (see pantaloon).

Pronunciation:

pants

/pan(t)s/