[ rech ]
See synonyms for: retchretching on

verb (used without object)
  1. to make efforts to vomit.

verb (used with object)
  1. to vomit.

  1. the act or an instance of retching.

Origin of retch

1540–50; variant of reach,Old English hrǣcan to clear the throat (not recorded in ME), derivative of hrāca a clearing of the throat; compare Old Norse hrǣkja to hawk, spit

Words that may be confused with retch

Words Nearby retch Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use retch in a sentence

  • There’s no real reason why one person might crave bacon-flavored ice cream with pickles while the thought of that might make another retch.

  • The tickling went on for some time until Bumper, in spite of himself, began to gag and retch.

    Bumper, The White Rabbit | George Ethelbert Walsh
  • Kin I skiver er humans clean clar ercross de dissart, und retch back ter de eend o' de yeth, wid dese wun-eyed specks?

    The Broken Sword | Dennison Worthington
  • Acid smoke wreathed up from the valley making Shann retch and cough.

    Storm Over Warlock | Andre Norton
  • But at the thought of more eggs, Shann's stomach knotted in pain and he began to retch.

    Storm Over Warlock | Andre Norton
  • The devil drank and ate to his hearts content; in fact he took so much that he was very uncomfortable, and began to retch.

    Devil Stories | Various

British Dictionary definitions for retch


/ (rɛtʃ, riːtʃ) /

  1. (intr) to undergo an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting; heave

  2. to vomit

  1. an involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting

Origin of retch

Old English hrǣcan; related to Old Norse hrǣkja to spit

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