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verb (used with object)
  1. to bring forth (young) from the egg.
  2. to cause young to emerge from (the egg) as by brooding or incubating.
  3. to bring forth or produce; devise; create; contrive; concoct: to hatch a scheme.
verb (used without object)
  1. to be hatched.
  2. to brood.
  1. the act of hatching.
  2. something that is hatched, as a brood.

Origin of hatch1

1200–50; Middle English hacchen; akin to German hecken to hatch
Related formshatch·a·ble, adjectivehatch·a·bil·i·ty, nounhatch·er, nounun·hatch·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·hatch·a·ble, adjective


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1. incubate, brood. 3. plan, plot.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hatchability

Historical Examples

  • Eggs set under hens usually give a hatchability of 50 per cent.

    The Dollar Hen

    Milo M. Hastings

  • By the hatchability of eggs, we then mean the percentage of eggs set that hatch chicks able to walk and eat.

    The Dollar Hen

    Milo M. Hastings

British Dictionary definitions for hatchability


  1. to cause (the young of various animals, esp birds) to emerge from the egg or (of young birds, etc) to emerge from the egg
  2. to cause (eggs) to break and release the fully developed young or (of eggs) to break and release the young animal within
  3. (tr) to contrive or devise (a scheme, plot, etc)
  1. the act or process of hatching
  2. a group of newly hatched animals
Derived Formshatchable, adjectivehatcher, noun

Word Origin

C13: of Germanic origin; compare Middle High German hecken to mate (used of birds), Swedish häcka to hatch, Danish hække


  1. a covering for a hatchway
    1. short for hatchway
    2. a door in an aircraft or spacecraft
  2. Also called: serving hatch an opening in a wall between a kitchen and a dining area
  3. the lower half of a divided door
  4. a sluice or sliding gate in a dam, dyke, or weir
  5. down the hatch slang (used as a toast) drink up!
  6. under hatches
    1. below decks
    2. out of sight
    3. brought low; dead

Word Origin

Old English hæcc; related to Middle High German heck, Dutch hek gate


  1. art to mark (a figure, shade, etc) with fine parallel or crossed lines to indicate shadingCompare hachure
Derived Formshatching, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Old French hacher to chop, from hache hatchet


  1. informal short for hatchback
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

Word Origin and History for hatchability



"to produce young from eggs by incubation," from Middle English hachen (early 13c.), probably from an unrecorded Old English *hæccan, of unknown origin, related to Middle High German, German hecken "to mate" (used of birds). Meaning "to come forth from an egg" is late 14c. Figurative use (of plots, etc.) is from early 14c. Related: Hatched; hatching.



"opening," Old English hæc (genitive hæcce) "fence, grating, gate," from Proto-Germanic *hak- (cf. Middle High German heck, Dutch hek "fence, gate"). This apparently is the source of many of the Hatcher surnames; "one who lives near a gate." Sense of "plank opening in ship's deck" is first recorded mid-13c. Drinking phrase down the hatch first recorded 1931.



"engrave, draw fine parallel lines," late 14c., from Old French hachier "chop up, hack" (14c.), from hache "ax" (see hatchet). Related: Hatched; hatching. The noun meaning "an engraved line or stroke" is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hatchability


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.