[ purch ]
See synonyms for: perchperchedperches on

  1. a pole or rod, usually horizontal, serving as a roost for birds.

  2. any place or object, as a sill, fence, branch, or twig, for a bird, animal, or person to alight or rest upon.

  1. a high or elevated position, resting place, or the like.

  2. a small, elevated seat for the driver of any of certain vehicles.

  3. a pole connecting the fore and hind running parts of a spring carriage or other vehicle.

  4. a post set up as a navigational aid on a navigational hazard or on a buoy.

  5. British.

    • a linear or square rod.

    • a measure of volume for stone, about 24 cubic feet (0.7 cubic meters).

  6. Textiles. an apparatus consisting of two vertical posts and a horizontal roller, used for inspecting cloth after it leaves the loom.

  7. Obsolete. any pole, rod, or the like.

verb (used without object)
  1. to alight or rest upon a perch.

  2. to settle or rest in some elevated position, as if on a perch.

verb (used with object)
  1. to set or place on or as if on a perch.

  2. to inspect (cloth) for defects and blemishes after it has been taken from the loom and placed upon a perch.

Origin of perch

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English perche, perdge, preche, from Old French, from Latin pertica “pole, staff, measuring rod”

Other words from perch

  • perch·a·ble, adjective

Words Nearby perch

Other definitions for perch (2 of 2)

[ purch ]

noun,plural (especially collectively) perch, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) perch·es.
  1. any spiny-finned, freshwater food fish of the genus Perca, as P. flavescens(yellow perch ), of the U.S., or P. fluviatilis, of Europe.

  2. any of various other related, spiny-finned fishes.

  1. any of several embioticid fishes, as Hysterocarpus traski(tule perch ) of California.

Origin of perch

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English perche, from Middle French, from Latin perca, from Greek pérkē, feminine of adjective pérkos “having dark spots, spotted, speckled” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use perch in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for perch (1 of 2)


/ (pɜːtʃ) /

  1. a pole, branch, or other resting place above ground on which a bird roosts or alights

  2. a similar resting place for a person or thing

  1. another name for rod (def. 7)

  2. a solid measure for stone, usually taken as 198 inches by 18 inches by 12 inches

  3. a pole joining the front and rear axles of a carriage

  4. a frame on which cloth is placed for inspection

  5. obsolete, or dialect a pole

  1. (usually foll by on) to alight, rest, or cause to rest on or as if on a perch: the bird perched on the branch; the cap was perched on his head

  2. (tr) to inspect (cloth) on a perch

Origin of perch

C13 perche stake, from Old French, from Latin pertica long staff

Derived forms of perch

  • percher, noun

British Dictionary definitions for perch (2 of 2)


/ (pɜːtʃ) /

nounplural perch or perches
  1. any freshwater spiny-finned teleost fish of the family Percidae, esp those of the genus Perca, such as P. fluviatilis of Europe and P. flavescens (yellow perch) of North America: valued as food and game fishes

  2. any of various similar or related fishes

Origin of perch

C13: from Old French perche, from Latin perca, from Greek perkē; compare Greek perkos spotted

Other words from perch

  • Related adjective: percoid

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