verb (used with object)
  1. to spoil by poor work; bungle (often followed by up): He botched up the job thoroughly.
  2. to do or say in a bungling manner.
  3. to mend or patch in a clumsy manner.
  1. a clumsy or poor piece of work; mess; bungle: He made a complete botch of his first attempt at baking.
  2. a clumsily added part or patch.
  3. 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for botching

Contemporary Examples of botching

  • Republicans are perfectly capable of botching races, and with the Senate, Democrats lose in 2014, they gain it in 2016.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Looming Political Game Changers

    Eleanor Clift

    July 16, 2014

  • The man behind the new ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ movies is mixing genres, botching continuity, and ignoring solid science.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Is J.J. Abrams Lost in Space?

    Sujay Kumar

    May 19, 2013

  • Yang was a terrible leader whose biggest accomplishment was botching a $48.5 billion buyout offer from Microsoft.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Paris Hilton of Tech

    Dan Lyons

    October 25, 2011

  • Rep. Charlie Wilson needs a bailout of his own—from Barney Frank, no less—after botching a question for the entire panel.

    The Daily Beast logo
    CEO Smackdown!

    The Daily Beast Video

    February 11, 2009

Historical Examples of botching

  • The next day she had many things to do and succeeded in botching most of them.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • While he is trotting after his patients, she sits there botching socks.

    Madame Bovary

    Gustave Flaubert

  • She was too tired of botching to tell him he was wasting time.

    Free Air

    Sinclair Lewis

  • As he did it, he saw he was botching it just like everything else.

    The Happy Unfortunate

    Robert Silverberg

  • I found her with her mother, rosary in hand, while her noble father was botching old boots.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

British Dictionary definitions for botching


verb (tr often foll by up)
  1. to spoil through clumsiness or ineptitude
  2. to repair badly or clumsily
  1. 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 botching



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