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  1. Nautical.
    1. the upward curve at the foot of a square sail.
    2. (loosely) a convexity given to any of the edges of a sail; round.
  2. hair combed up from the forehead or temples in a roll or high curve.
verb (used with object)
  1. to clip or cut off (the mane of a horse); hog.
  2. to comb (hair) into a roach.

Origin of roach3

First recorded in 1785–95; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for roaching


noun plural roaches or roach
  1. a European freshwater cyprinid food fish, Rutilus rutilus, having a deep compressed body and reddish ventral and tail fins
  2. any of various similar fishes

Word Origin

C14: from Old French roche, of obscure origin


  1. short for cockroach
  2. slang the butt of a cannabis cigarette


noun nautical
  1. the amount by which the leech of a fore-and-aft sail projects beyond an imaginary straight line between the clew and the head
  2. the curve at the foot of a square sail

Word Origin

C18: of unknown origin


  1. Hal, full name Harald Eugene Roach . 1892–1992, US film producer, whose company produced numerous comedy films in the 1920s and 1930s, including those featuring Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy
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 roaching



shortened form of cockroach, 1837, on mistaken notion that it was a compound. In contemporary writing said to be from a polite desire to avoid the sexual connotation in the first syllable. Meaning "butt of a marijuana cigarette" is first recorded 1938, perhaps from resemblance to the insect, but perhaps a different word entirely.



small freshwater fish, c.1200, from Old French roche (13c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Germanic source. Applied to similar-looking fish in North America.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper