verb (used with object)

to cover with or as if with thatch.
Horticulture. to remove thatch from (a lawn); dethatch.

Origin of thatch

before 900; (v.) Middle English thacchen, variant (with a from thak > dial. thack) of thecchen, Old English theccan to cover, hide; cognate with Dutch dekken (see deck), German decken, Old Norse thekja; (noun) Middle English thacche, variant (with ch from the v.) of thak
Related formsthatch·less, adjectivethatch·y, adjectivere·thatch, verb (used with object)




Edward. Teach, Edward. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thatch

Contemporary Examples of thatch

  • Vehicles are still unusual, but homes now are made of brick and wood and have metal roofs instead of thatch.

  • His comic strip, Thatch, appeared daily in more than 150 newspapers from 1994-1998.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama vs. FDR

    Jeff Shesol

    July 27, 2010

Historical Examples of thatch

  • Always used of the gable loft, you know, and the wind above the thatch.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Henry has often been on the thatch of the barn and never got hurt.

    The Fairchild Family

    Mary Martha Sherwood

  • I've seen them set fire to the thatch of the widow and childless.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • The same, the very same it is, save that the thatch has been renewed!

    St. Cuthbert's

    Robert E. Knowles

  • Thatch well sodden with winter's rain does not blaze or crackle.

    Two Sides of the Face

    Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

British Dictionary definitions for thatch



  1. Also called: thatchinga roofing material that consists of straw, reed, etc
  2. a roof made of such a material
anything resembling this, such as the hair of the head
Also called: thatch palm any of various palms with leaves suitable for thatching


to cover (a roof) with thatch
Derived Formsthatcher, nounthatchless, adjectivethatchy, adjective

Word Origin for thatch

Old English theccan to cover; related to thæc roof, Old Saxon thekkian to thatch, Old High German decchen, Old Norse thekja
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 thatch

Old English þeccan "to cover," related to þæc "roof, thatching material," from Proto-Germanic *thakan (cf. Old Saxon thekkian, Old Norse þekja, Old Frisian thekka, Middle Dutch decken, Old High German decchen, German decken "to cover"), from PIE *(s)tog-/*(s)teg- "cover" (see stegosaurus).


Old English þæc "roof, thatch," from the source of thatch (v.). Cf. Old Norse þak, Old Frisian thek, Middle Dutch dak "roof," Old High German dah, German Dach "roof."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper