debouch

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

French déboucher (de + bouche), modelled on Italian sboccare.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /dɪˈbuːʃ/, /dɪˈbaʊt͡ʃ/

Noun[edit]

debouch (plural debouches)

  1. (geography) A narrow outlet from which a body of water pours.
    • 1888, May 26, Phillip Carroll, Sulphur Mines in Sicily, in Scientific American Supplement, No 647,
      In level portions of the country vertical shafts are preferred, but where the mine is situated upon a hill a debouch may often be found below the sulphur seam, ...
  2. (military) A fortress at the end of a defile.
    • 1887, George B. McClellan, McClellan's Own Story,
      To prevent another demonstration of this character, and to insure a debouch on the south bank of the James, it became necessary to occupy Coggin's Point, which was done on the 3d, and the enemy driven back towards Petersburg.

Verb[edit]

debouch (third-person singular simple present debouches, present participle debouching, simple past and past participle debouched)

  1. To pour forth from a narrow opening. To emerge from a narrow place like a defile into open country or a wider space.
    • 1985, the pretty pimpled young man, no longer a boy, came down from the imperial box in his purple to the performers’ well which debouched into the arena. — Anthony Burgess, Kingdom of the Wicked
    • 1993, Ungrateful brats debouch from their cheap holiday in someone else’s misery and their tired parents try desperately to summon up joy out of indifference. — Will Self, My Idea of Fun
    • 1997, the water rushes away in uncommonly long waterfalls, downward for hours, unbrak’d, till at last debouching into an interior Lake of great size — Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon