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[hach-wey] /ˈhætʃˌweɪ/
Nautical. hatch2 (def 1a).
the opening of any trap door, as in a floor, ceiling, or roof.
Origin of hatchway
First recorded in 1620-30; hatch2 + way1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hatchway
Historical Examples
  • The hatchway ladder was loaded with coolies swarming on it like bees on a branch.

    Typhoon Joseph Conrad
  • There was no hatchway in view, so I started down to the clerk to make inquiry.

  • Two women were kissing, with little cries, near the hatchway.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • Castro had gone forward into the crowd of scoundrels round the hatchway.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • These were somewhat larger than the other, and had decks like a vessel, with a sort of hatchway.

    The Land of the Long Night Paul du Chaillu
  • A little group of men were gathered at the hatchway leading to the forecastle.

    The Pirate of Panama William MacLeod Raine
  • Brunton made for the hatchway, but before going down he stopped.

  • No females were there, but there was a hatchway and a ladder leading to the deck below.

    The Three Midshipmen W.H.G. Kingston
  • A man was lounging in the hatchway of the submersible, and this man Saiksi hailed.

    The Wreck of the Titan Morgan Robertson
  • The hatchway was closed, and the order to man the capstan was given a third time.

    Down the Rhine Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for hatchway


an opening in the deck of a vessel to provide access below
a similar opening in a wall, floor, ceiling, or roof, usually fitted with a lid or door
Often shortened to hatch
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 hatchway

1620s, originally nautical, from hatch (n.) + way.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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