- a pole or rod, usually horizontal, serving as a roost for birds.
- any place or object, as a sill, fence, branch, or twig, for a bird, animal, or person to alight or rest upon.
- a high or elevated position, resting place, or the like.
- a small, elevated seat for the driver of any of certain vehicles.
- a pole connecting the fore and hind running parts of a spring carriage or other vehicle.
- a post set up as a navigational aid on a navigational hazard or on a buoy.
- a linear or square rod.
- a measure of volume for stone, about 24 cubic feet (0.7 cubic meters).
- Textiles. an apparatus consisting of two vertical posts and a horizontal roller, used for inspecting cloth after it leaves the loom.
- Obsolete. any pole, rod, or the like.
- to alight or rest upon a perch.
- to settle or rest in some elevated position, as if on a perch.
- to set or place on or as if on a perch.
- to inspect (cloth) for defects and blemishes after it has been taken from the loom and placed upon a perch.
Origin of perch1
- a former division of N France.
- any spiny-finned, freshwater food fish of the genus Perca, as P. flavescens (yellow perch), of the U.S., or P. fluviatilis, of Europe.
- any of various other related, spiny-finned fishes.
- any of several embioticid fishes, as Hysterocarpus traski (tule perch) of California.
Origin of perch2
Examples from the Web for perches
About fifty perches, your honor, in the same boreen, but higher up.The Daltons, Volume II (of II)
Charles James Lever
The fellow who is "it," or "keeper," perches his duck on the rock.Boy Scouts Handbook
Boy Scouts of America
She goes and perches on the table near Mary, who is staring sadly in front of her.The Straw
It has only just occurred to me that they ought to have had perches to roost on.Love Among the Chickens
P. G. Wodehouse
He perches there each evening on the extreme end of the longest bough.They and I
Jerome K. Jerome
- a pole, branch, or other resting place above ground on which a bird roosts or alights
- a similar resting place for a person or thing
- another name for rod (def. 7)
- a solid measure for stone, usually taken as 198 inches by 18 inches by 12 inches
- a pole joining the front and rear axles of a carriage
- a frame on which cloth is placed for inspection
- obsolete, or dialect a pole
- (usually foll by on) to alight, rest, or cause to rest on or as if on a perchthe bird perched on the branch; the cap was perched on his head
- (tr) to inspect (cloth) on a perch
- 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
- any of various similar or related fishes
Word Origin and History for perches
"where a bird rests," late 13c., originally only "a pole, rod, stick, stake," from Old French perche "unit of linear measurement" (5.5 yards), also "measuring rod, pole, bar" used to measure this length (13c.), from Latin pertica "pole, long staff, measuring rod," related to Oscan perek "pole," Umbrian perkaf "twigs, rods." Meaning "a bar fixed horizontally for a hawk or tame bird to rest on" is attested from late 14c.; this led to general sense of "any thing that any bird alights or rests on" (late 15c.). Figurative sense of "an elevated or secure position" is recorded from 1520s. The "land-measuring rod" sense also was in Middle English (c.1200), hence surviving meaning "measure of land equal to a square lineal perch" (usually 160 to the acre), mid-15c.
"spiny-finned freshwater fish," c.1300, from Old French perche, from Latin perca "perch," from Greek perke "a perch," from PIE root *perk- "speckled, spotted" (cf. Sanskrit prsnih "speckled, variegated;" Greek perknos "dark-colored," perkazein "to become dark"), typically in names of animals.
"to roost," late 14c., from Old French perchier "to sit on a perch" (of a bird), from perche (n.) (see perch (n.1)). Related: Perched; perching.