- to trespass, especially on another's game preserve, in order to steal animals or to hunt.
- to take game or fish illegally.
- (of land) to become broken up or slushy by being trampled.
- (in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) to play a ball hit into the territory of one's partner that is properly the partner's ball to play.
- Informal. to cheat in a game or contest.
- to trespass on (private property), especially in order to hunt or fish.
- to steal (game or fish) from another's property.
- to take without permission and use as one's own: to poach ideas; a staff poached from other companies.
- to break or tear up by trampling.
- to mix with water and reduce to a uniform consistency, as clay.
Origin of poach1
- to cook (eggs, fish, fruits, etc.) in a hot liquid that is kept just below the boiling point.
Origin of poach2
Examples from the Web for poaches
"And poaches all he can lay hands on," added the gamekeeper.The Chestermarke Instinct
J. S. Fletcher
He will not tolerate a Church that poaches on his political preserves.Machiavelli, Volume I
Poach′er, one who poaches or steals game: the widgeon, from its habit of stealing the prey of other ducks; Poach′ing.
No other subordinate official or servant trenches or poaches upon her preserves.A Walk from London to John O'Groat's
A wild young un, as 'ull do noa honest work, but dreams the day long, or poaches the grat woods wi' young loons o' like stomach.One-Act Plays
- to catch (game, fish, etc) illegally by trespassing on private property
- to encroach on or usurp (another person's rights, duties, etc) or steal (an idea, employee, etc)
- tennis badminton to take or play (shots that should belong to one's partner)
- to break up (land) into wet muddy patches, as by riding over it, or (of land) to become broken up in this way
- (intr) (of the feet, shoes, etc) to sink into heavy wet ground
- to simmer (eggs, fish, etc) very gently in water, milk, stock, etc
Word Origin and History for poaches
"steal game," 1520s, "to push, poke," from Middle French pocher "to thrust, poke," from Old French pochier "poke out, gouge, prod, jab," from a Germanic source (cf. Middle High German puchen "to pound, beat, knock," German pochen, Middle Dutch boken "to beat") related to poke (v.). Sense of "trespass for the sake of stealing" is first attested 1610s, perhaps via notion of "thrusting" oneself onto another's property, or perhaps from French pocher "to pocket" (see poach (v.2)). Related: Poached; poaching.
"cook in liquid," early 15c., from Old French poché, past participle of pochier (12c.), literally "put into a pocket" (as the white of an egg forms a pocket for the yolk), from poche "bag, pocket," from Frankish *pokka "bag," from Proto-Germanic *puk- (see poke (n.)). Related: Poached; poaching.