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;
His jacket was red, and his breeches were blue.
2. Trousers; pantaloons. [Colloq.]
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
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.]