verb (used with object)

to spoil by poor work; bungle (often followed by up): He botched up the job thoroughly.
to do or say in a bungling manner.
to mend or patch in a clumsy manner.


a clumsy or poor piece of work; mess; bungle: He made a complete botch of his first attempt at baking.
a clumsily added part or patch.
a disorderly or confused combination; conglomeration.

Origin of botch

1350–1400; Middle English bocchen to patch up; perhaps to be identified with bocchen to swell up, bulge (verbal derivative of bocche botch2), though sense development unclear
Related formsbotch·ed·ly [boch-id-lee] /ˈbɒtʃ ɪd li/, adverbbotch·er, nounbotch·er·y, noun

Synonyms for botch




a swelling on the skin; a boil.
an eruptive disease.

Origin of botch

1350–1400; Middle English bocche < Old French boche, dialectal variant of boce boss2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for botch

Contemporary Examples of botch

Historical Examples of botch

  • Both of them have made a botch of their errand,” said he, “and are causing the bride to wait in vain!

  • They've been running it for thousands of years—and look at the botch they've made of it!

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • Mr. Primefit, the Eton Stultz, is changed into Botch, the cobbler.

    The English Spy

    Bernard Blackmantle

  • Work that is not finished, is not work at all; it is merely a botch.

    How to Succeed

    Orison Swett Marden

  • Are you not afraid that you might make a botch out of the whole job?

British Dictionary definitions for botch


verb (tr often foll by up)

to spoil through clumsiness or ineptitude
to repair badly or clumsily


Also called: botch-up a badly done piece of work or repair (esp in the phrase make a botch of (something))
Derived Formsbotcher, noun

Word Origin for botch

C14: of unknown origin
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 botch

late 14c., bocchen "to repair," later, "to spoil by unskillful work" (1520s); of unknown origin. Related: Botched; botching. As a noun from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper