retch (v.) 1540s, originally "to clear the throat, to cough up phlegm," from O.E. hræcan "to cough up, spit" (related to hraca "phlegm"), from P.Gmc. *khrækijanan (Cf. O.H.G. rahhison "to clear one's throat"), of imitative origin (Cf. Lith. kregeti "to grunt"). Meaning "to make efforts to vomit" is from 1850; sense of "to vomit" is first attested 1888.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Retch — (r[e^]ch or r[=e]ch; 277), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Retched} (r[e^]cht); p. pr. & vb. n. {Retching}.] [AS. hr[ae]can to clear the throat, hawk, fr. hraca throat; akin to G. rachen, and perhaps to E. rack neck.] To make an effort to vomit; to strain,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Retch — Retch, v. t. & i. [See {Reck}.] To care for; to heed; to reck. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • retch — [retʃ] v [I] [: Old English; Origin: hrAcan] to try to ↑vomit = ↑gag ▪ The smell made her retch …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • retch — [ retʃ ] verb intransitive to behave and sound as if you are being sick (=bringing food and drink up from your stomach and out through your mouth), without in fact doing this: The disgusting smell made me retch …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • retch — ► VERB ▪ make the sound and movement of vomiting. ► NOUN ▪ an instance of retching. ORIGIN from a Germanic word meaning «spittle» …   English terms dictionary

  • retch — [rech] vi. [ME * rechen < OE hræcan, to clear the throat, hawk < hraca, clearing of the throat, spittle < IE echoic base * ker > RING1, RAVEN1] to undergo the straining action of vomiting, esp. without bringing anything up …   English World dictionary

  • retch — UK [retʃ] / US verb [intransitive] Word forms retch : present tense I/you/we/they retch he/she/it retches present participle retching past tense retched past participle retched to behave and sound as if you are being sick (= bringing food and… …   English dictionary

  • retch — verb Etymology: Middle English *rechen to spit, retch, from Old English hrǣcan to spit, hawk; akin to Old Norse hrækja to spit Date: circa 1798 transitive verb vomit 1 intransitive verb to make an effort to vomit; also vomit • retch noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • retch — To make an involuntary effort to vomit. [A.S. hraecan, to hawk] * * * retch rech, esp Brit rēch vi to make an effort to vomit vt VOMIT retch n * * * (rech) to try to …   Medical dictionary

  • retch — [[t]re̱tʃ[/t]] retches, retching, retched VERB If you retch, your stomach moves as if you are vomiting. The smell made me retch. Syn: heave …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.