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Definition of "breeching" [breech•ing]

  • The strap of a harness that passes behind a draft animal's haunches. (noun)
  • The short wool or hair on the rump and hind legs of a sheep, goat, or dog. (noun)
  • The parts of a gun that make up the breech. (noun)
  • A rope formerly used to secure the breech of a cannon to the side of a ship to control the recoil. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "breeching" in a sentence
  • "They were trained by handspikes with the aid of side-tackle and their recoil was limited by a stout rope, called the breeching, the ends of which were secured to the sides of the ship."
  • "Aboard ship, where recoil space was limited, the "kick" of the gun was checked by a heavy rope called a breeching, shackled to the side of the vessel"
  • "The recoil of the gun on firing, was often very violent, but it was limited by the stout rope called the breeching, which ran round the base of the gun, from each side of the port-hole, and kept it from running back more than its own length."