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[boch] /bɒtʃ/
verb (used with object)
to spoil by poor work; bungle (often followed by up):
He botched up the job thoroughly.
to do or say in a bungling manner.
to mend or patch in a clumsy manner.
a clumsy or poor piece of work; mess; bungle:
He made a complete botch of his first attempt at baking.
a clumsily added part or patch.
a disorderly or confused combination; conglomeration.
Origin of botch1
1350-1400; Middle English bocchen to patch up; perhaps to be identified with bocchen to swell up, bulge (verbal derivative of bocche botch2), though sense development unclear
Related forms
[boch-id-lee] /ˈbɒtʃ ɪd li/ (Show IPA),
botcher, noun
botchery, noun
1. ruin, mismanage; muff, butcher, flub. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for botching
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I found her with her mother, rosary in hand, while her noble father was botching old boots.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • While he is trotting after his patients, she sits there botching socks.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • The botching work each fine pretender traces Is, I perceive, a principle with you.

    Faust Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • She was too tired of botching to tell him he was wasting time.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • The next day she had many things to do and succeeded in botching most of them.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • As he did it, he saw he was botching it just like everything else.

    The Happy Unfortunate Robert Silverberg
British Dictionary definitions for botching


verb (transitive) often foll by up
to spoil through clumsiness or ineptitude
to repair badly or clumsily
Also called botch-up. a badly done piece of work or repair (esp in the phrase make a botch of (something))
Derived Forms
botcher, noun
Word Origin
C14: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for botching



late 14c., bocchen "to repair," later, "to spoil by unskillful work" (1520s); of unknown origin. Related: Botched; botching. As a noun from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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botching in the Bible

the name given in Deut. 28:27, 35 to one of the Egyptian plagues (Ex. 9:9). The word so translated is usually rendered "boil" (q.v.).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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