• synonyms


  1. Nautical.
    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.
  2. hair combed up from the forehead or temples in a roll or high curve.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to clip or cut off (the mane of a horse); hog.
  2. to comb (hair) into a roach.
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Origin of roach3

First recorded in 1785–95; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for roached

Historical Examples

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

    Alec Lloyd, Cowpuncher

    Eleanor Gates

  • 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


  1. arched convexly, as the back of certain breeds of dog, such as the whippet
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Word Origin

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


noun plural roaches or roach
  1. a European freshwater cyprinid food fish, Rutilus rutilus, having a deep compressed body and reddish ventral and tail fins
  2. any of various similar fishes
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French roche, of obscure origin


  1. short for cockroach
  2. slang the butt of a cannabis cigarette
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noun nautical
  1. the amount by which the leech of a fore-and-aft sail projects beyond an imaginary straight line between the clew and the head
  2. the curve at the foot of a square sail
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Word Origin

C18: of unknown origin


  1. 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
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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.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper