A group of men in knee breeches.
- trousers reaching to or just below the knees and often tapered to fit closely
- Informal any trousers
Origin of breechessee breech
too big for one's breeches
- 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.
- wear the breeches (Colloquial): to usurp the authority of the husband; -- said of a wife.
- become too big for one's britches (Southern U.S.): to have an overblown feeling of self importance.
Middle English brech, brek, Old English brēc, plural of brōc (“breech, breeches”); akin to Old Norse brók (“breeches”), Danish brog, Dutch broek, German Bruch f; compare Latin bracae (> French braies) which is of Celtic origin. Compare brail.