Idioms

    fetch and carry, to perform menial tasks.

Origin of fetch

1
before 1000; Middle English fecchen, Old English fecc(e)an, variant of fetian to fetch (compare Middle English feten, fetten, British dialect fet; akin to Old English -fat in sīthfat journey, German fassen to grasp)
Related formsfetch·er, noun

Synonym study

1. See bring.

fetch

2
[fech]

noun

Origin of fetch

2
First recorded in 1780–90; perhaps short for fetch-life one sent to fetch the soul of a dying person
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for fetch

Contemporary Examples of fetch

Historical Examples of fetch

  • Miss Avice won't be down, sir, and I'm to fetch her up a pot of coffee, sir.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • That crowd's been working every fetch there is to get in with the top notchers, and they just couldn't.

  • I wish it had been possible for me to fetch her instead of him.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • But you rake a match to light the candle, and that little bit of a noise will fetch him.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • If he would come and fetch her and the little John, she would do whatever he asked of her.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine


British Dictionary definitions for fetch

fetch

1

verb (mainly tr)

to go after and bring back; getto fetch help
to cause to come; bring or draw forththe noise fetched him from the cellar
(also intr) to cost or sell for (a certain price)the table fetched six hundred pounds
to utter (a sigh, groan, etc)
informal to deal (a blow, slap, etc)
(also intr) nautical to arrive at or proceed by sailing
informal to attractto be fetched by an idea
(used esp as a command to dogs) to retrieve (shot game, an object thrown, etc)
rare to draw in (a breath, gasp, etc), esp with difficulty
fetch and carry to perform menial tasks or run errands

noun

the reach, stretch, etc, of a mechanism
a trick or stratagem
the distance in the direction of the prevailing wind that air or water can travel continuously without obstruction

Word Origin for fetch

Old English feccan; related to Old Norse feta to step, Old High German sih fazzōn to climb

fetch

2

noun

the ghost or apparition of a living person

Word Origin for fetch

C18: 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 fetch
v.

Old English feccan, apparently a variant of fetian, fatian "to fetch, bring near, obtain; induce; to marry," probably from Proto-Germanic *fatojanan (cf. Old Frisian fatia "to grasp, seize, contain," Old Norse feta "to find one's way," Middle Dutch vatten, Old High German sih faggon "to mount, climb," German fassen "to grasp, contain"). Variant form fet, a derivation of the older Old English version of the word, survived as a competitor until 17c. Related: Fetched; fetching.

n.

"apparition, specter, a double," 1787, of unknown origin (see OED for discussion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper