Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

retch

[rech] /rɛtʃ/
verb (used without object)
1.
to make efforts to vomit.
verb (used with object)
2.
to vomit.
noun
3.
the act or an instance of retching.
Origin of retch
1540-1550
1540-50; variant of reach, Old English hrǣcan to clear the throat (not recorded in ME), derivative of hrāca a clearing of the throat; compare Old Norse hrǣkja to hawk, spit
Can be confused
retch, wretch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for retch
Historical Examples
  • But a spasm of disgust at the uncleanness of the task to be done made me retch and pause.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • He retch he han' in, he did, en git some en put it in he mouf.

    Nights With Uncle Remus Joel Chandler Harris
  • So I retch me a fine bunch of hick'ries I done prepared for dat 'casion.

    The Wit of Women

    Kate Sanborn
  • Cramps assailed him and he clamped his jaws against the desire to retch.

    A Witch Shall Be Born Robert E. Howard
  • What difference did it make what retch was, or the nature of his business here?

    Sinister Paradise Robert Moore Williams
  • The woman, Mercedes Valdar, seemed to catch some of retch's excitement.

    Sinister Paradise Robert Moore Williams
  • Behind him, Mercedes and retch were struggling to their feet.

    Sinister Paradise Robert Moore Williams
  • From the door of the sinking helicopter retch was staring at the raft.

    Sinister Paradise Robert Moore Williams
  • His impulse was to take retch by the throat, to shake words out of him.

    Sinister Paradise Robert Moore Williams
  • In the front of the raft, retch sat with his back to Parker.

    Sinister Paradise Robert Moore Williams
British Dictionary definitions for retch

retch

/rɛtʃ; riːtʃ/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to undergo an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting; heave
2.
to vomit
noun
3.
an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting
Word Origin
Old English hrǣcan; related to Old Norse hrǣkja to spit
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for retch
v.

1540s, originally "to clear the throat, to cough up phlegm," from Old English hræcan "to cough up, spit" (related to hraca "phlegm"), from Proto-Germanic *khrækijanan (cf. Old High German rahhison "to clear one's throat"), of imitative origin (cf. Lithuanian kregeti "to grunt"). Meaning "to make efforts to vomit" is from 1850; sense of "to vomit" is first attested 1888. Related: Retched; retching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
retch in Medicine

retch (rěch)
v. retched, retch·ing, retch·es
To try to vomit.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for retch

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for retch

10
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for retch