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Underpants are underwear worn on the lower body.[1] In British English they are often called simply pants.[2]

Types of underpants[edit]

Long underpants[edit]

Long underpants

Long underpants are the bottom half of a style of two-piece underwear called long underwear, long johns, or thermal underwear, that has long legs and long sleeves that is normally worn during cold weather, and is commonly worn by people under their clothes in cold countries. The male version of a long underwear bottom may or may not have a front fly.

Boxer shorts[edit]

Boxer shorts

Boxer shorts, boxers, or trunks (Britain),[3] have an elasticated waistband that is at or near the wearer's waist, while the leg sections are fairly loose and extend to the mid-thigh. There is usually a fly, either with or without buttons. The waistbands of boxers are usually wider than those of the various types of briefs, and often bear the brand name of the manufacturer.

Boxer briefs[edit]

Boxer briefs

Boxer briefs are similar in style to boxer shorts, but are form-fitting like briefs. Like briefs they often utilize a fly.

Sometimes boxer briefs are called trunks (Britain),[4] but see next section.

Midway briefs[edit]

Midway briefs

Midway briefs are similar in style to boxer briefs, but are longer in the leg, at the longest being up to the knees.

Trunk briefs[edit]

Trunk briefs

Trunk briefs, also known as simply trunks, are shorter than boxer briefs but still have leg sections, unlike classic briefs.[5]



Classic briefs have an elasticated waistband at or near the wearer's waist, and leg bands that end at or near the groin. Many briefs feature a fly. They also come in ultra-absorbent varieties.

Bikini briefs[edit]

Bikini briefs

Bikini briefs are a variation on classic briefs that have less coverage; though typically full coverage of the derrière. Conventionally, they have no fly.



Thongs are like bikini briefs, except the backside is very narrow and goes between the buttocks.


Several styles of women's underpants (thong and G-string: back view)

"Panties" is a general term for female underpants. The UK English equivalent is "knickers".


Diapers are a type of underwear worn by young children and those suffering from incontinence. Unlike other briefs, diapers allow the wearer to urinate or defecate without soiling their surroundings. These can be either reusable or disposable.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Underpants. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved 2 August 2012 from CollinsDictionary.com website: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/underpants.
  2. ^ "UNDERPANTS | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Dictionary.cambridge.org. 25 May 2022. Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  3. ^ boxer shorts.Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved 29 August 2012 from CollinsDictionary.com website:http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/boxer-shorts.
  4. ^ trunks. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved 29 August 2012 from CollinsDictionary.com website:http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/trunks
  5. ^ "High Anxiety in the Underwear Department". The Wall Street Journal. New York. May 14, 2009.