Definition of trousers in English:


(also a pair of trousers)

plural noun

  • An outer garment covering the body from the waist to the ankles, with a separate part for each leg.

    • ‘Each member of emergency staff will be fitted for the uniform, with a full set of several shirts, pairs of trousers, shoes and socks costing £400.’
    • ‘The ordinary clothing of Afghani men is a rather baggy pair of trousers with a draw-string at the waist, and a loose, long-sleeved shirt reaching about to the knees.’
    • ‘He was a very young man in a plain pair of trousers and an old shirt.’
    • ‘If you are going away for a few days then I would advise taking a basic piece of bottom clothing (ie a pair of trousers or a skirt) and lots of different tops.’
    • ‘To measure the length of your inseam, lay a pair of trousers that fit you well flat on the table as aforementioned, and measure them from the top of the inner pant leg seam to the opening at the bottom of the leg.’
    • ‘I looked around and grabbed a pair of trousers that actually fit me and a purple shirt, and also some undergarments.’
    • ‘I changed out of my road clothes into a clean pair of trousers and a light blouse.’
    • ‘I zoom upstairs to pull on a jumper and pair of trousers.’
    • ‘It contains my books of poetry, two shirts, two pairs of trousers, a pair of slippers, toothpaste and a brush.’
    • ‘He muttered darkly about his outraged modesty as he threw on a crumpled white shirt and a black pair of trousers before heading downstairs to the sitting room.’
    • ‘Dyana nodded again and the lady pulled out a small shirt and a pair of trousers, along with a tunic.’
    • ‘Wearing only a linen shirt and a pair of trousers, she pulled her cloak from a nearby chair and wrapped it around her shoulders.’
    • ‘For example, two dissimilar jackets, two pairs of trousers, two distinctive shirts and two neckties can be combined in sixteen different ways.’
    • ‘I have 10 pairs of trousers and 20 shirts hanging in my wardrobe.’
    • ‘In the fall, a flat loafer, heavy tights, and a nice pair of trousers is a sharp look.’
    • ‘Why bother wearing a shirt if you aren't going to put a decent pair of trousers on?’
    • ‘Many men had suits made to measure with two pairs of trousers as the coats and waistcoats usually outlasted one pair of trousers.’
    • ‘But weeks later, a package arrived direct from the designer containing two pairs of trousers, two shirts, dress shoes, trainers and a belt.’
    • ‘She opened it and pulled out a few pairs of trousers and gowns and stuffed them into a valise under her bed.’
    • ‘Her hair was brushed and gleaming, her white jumpsuit had been exchanged for a pair of trousers and a huge coat, both in dark blue.’
    trews, strides, kecks
    reach-me-downs, unmentionables
    View synonyms


  • wear the trousers

    • informal Be the dominant partner in a relationship.

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


Early 17th century: from archaic trouse (singular), from Irish triús and Scottish Gaelic triubhas (see trews), on the pattern of drawers.