1. the upward curve at the foot of a square sail.
  2. (loosely) a convexity given to any of the edges of a sail; round.
hair combed up from the forehead or temples in a roll or high curve.

verb (used with object)

to clip or cut off (the mane of a horse); hog.
to comb (hair) into a roach.

Origin of roach

First recorded in 1785–95; origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for roached

Historical Examples of roached

  • It was one of them blue roans, with a long tail, and a roached mane.

  • His hair was always, I would call it—in mine and your day—roached.

    Warren Commission (10 of 26): Hearings Vol. X (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

  • Roached back and parted nearer the middle, the wound would be obscured.

    Dreamy Hollow

    Sumner Charles Britton

  • If he gets it roached up on both sides that will make me look like a horizontal-bar performer, which is his idea of manly beauty.

    Cobb's Anatomy

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • Bill roached it up with a turn of the forefinger, 148 using the back of it, which was rough, like a corn-cob.

    The Bondboy

    George W. (George Washington) Ogden

British Dictionary definitions for roached



arched convexly, as the back of certain breeds of dog, such as the whippet

Word Origin for roached

C19: from roach ³ or roach (vb) to cut (a sail) into a roach



noun plural roaches or roach

a European freshwater cyprinid food fish, Rutilus rutilus, having a deep compressed body and reddish ventral and tail fins
any of various similar fishes

Word Origin for roach

C14: from Old French roche, of obscure origin




short for cockroach
slang the butt of a cannabis cigarette



noun nautical

the amount by which the leech of a fore-and-aft sail projects beyond an imaginary straight line between the clew and the head
the curve at the foot of a square sail

Word Origin for roach

C18: of unknown origin



Hal, full name Harald Eugene Roach . 1892–1992, US film producer, whose company produced numerous comedy films in the 1920s and 1930s, including those featuring Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy
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 roached



shortened form of cockroach, 1837, on mistaken notion that it was a compound. In contemporary writing said to be from a polite desire to avoid the sexual connotation in the first syllable. Meaning "butt of a marijuana cigarette" is first recorded 1938, perhaps from resemblance to the insect, but perhaps a different word entirely.



small freshwater fish, c.1200, from Old French roche (13c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Germanic source. Applied to similar-looking fish in North America.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper