• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to put a definite end to; crush; stamp out; foil: to scotch a rumor; to scotch a plan.
  2. to cut, gash, or score.
  3. to injure so as to make harmless.
  4. to block or prop with a wedge or chock.
  1. a cut, gash, or score.
  2. a block or wedge put under a wheel, barrel, etc., to prevent slipping.

Origin of scotch1

1375–1425; late Middle English scocche (noun and v.), perhaps blend of score and notch (> Anglo-French escocher)


verb (used with object), noun Masonry.
  1. scutch(defs 2, 4).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scotched

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And, as you said, I shall only have myself to blame if the story's not scotched here and now.

  • One reason of this was that party feeling in politics had been scotched.

    The Message

    Alec John Dawson

  • But the male in him was scotched by the knowledge that she was not under his spell nor his influence.

    The Rainbow

    D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

  • The cellar ran full with its tally of scotched and crippled men.

  • There wall be anarchy in this land if these rattlesnakes are not scotched—you can't kill them.

    Painted Veils

    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for scotched


verb (tr)
  1. to put an end to; crushbad weather scotched our plans
  2. archaic to injure so as to render harmless
  3. obsolete to cut or score
  1. archaic a gash; scratch
  2. a line marked down, as for hopscotch

Word Origin

C15: of obscure origin


  1. (tr) to block, prop, or prevent from moving with or as if with a wedge
  1. a block or wedge to prevent motion

Word Origin

C17: of obscure origin


  1. another word for Scottish
  1. the Scots or their language


In the north of England and in Scotland, Scotch is not used outside fixed expressions such as Scotch whisky. The use of Scotch for Scots or Scottish is otherwise felt to be incorrect, esp when applied to people


  1. Also called: Scotch whisky whisky distilled esp from fermented malted barley and made in Scotland
  2. Northeast English a type of relatively mild beer
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 scotched



"of Scotland," 1590s, contraction of Scottish. Disdained by the Scottish because of the many insulting and pejorative formations made from it by the English (e.g. Scotch greys "lice;" Scotch attorney, a Jamaica term from 1864 for strangler vines).

Scotch-Irish is from 1744 (adj.); 1789 (n.); more properly Scots-Irish (1966), from Scots (mid-14c.), the older adjective, which is from Scottis, the northern variant of Scottish. Scots (adj.) was used in Scottish until 18c., then Scotch became vernacular, but in mid-19c. there was a reaction against it. Scotch Tape was said to be so called because at first it had adhesive only on the edges (to make it easier to remove as a masking tape in car paint jobs), which was interpreted as a sign of cheapness on the part of the manufacturers.



"stamp out, crush," 1825, earlier "make harmless for a time" (1798; a sense that derives from an uncertain reading of "Macbeth" III.ii.13), from scocchen "to cut, score, gash, make an incision" (early 15c.), of unknown origin, perhaps [Barnhart] from Anglo-French escocher, Old French cocher "to notch, nick," from coche "a notch, groove," perhaps from Latin coccum "berry of the scarlet oak," which appears notched, from Greek kokkos. Related: Scotched; scotching.



1778, elliptical for Scotch whisky. See Scotch (adj.).



"incision, cut, score, gash," mid-15c., related to scotch (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper