- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Breeches \Breech"es\ (br[i^]ch"[e^]z), n. pl. [OE. brech, brek, AS. br[=e]k, pl. of br[=o]c breech, breeches; akin to Icel. br[=o]k breeches, ODan. brog, D. broek, G. bruch; cf. L. bracae, braccae, which is of Celtic origin. Cf. Brail.] 1. A garment worn by men, covering the hips and thighs; smallclothes. [1913 Webster] His jacket was red, and his breeches were blue. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster] 2. Trousers; pantaloons. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster] Breeches buoy, in the life-saving service, a pair of canvas breeches depending from an annular or beltlike life buoy which is usually of cork. This contrivance, inclosing the person to be rescued, is hung by short ropes from a block which runs upon the hawser stretched from the ship to the shore, and is drawn to land by hauling lines. Breeches pipe, a forked pipe forming two branches united at one end. Knee breeches, breeches coming to the knee, and buckled or fastened there; smallclothes. To wear the breeches, to usurp the authority of the husband; -- said of a wife. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]