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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English bocchen(to mend), of uncertain origin. Possibly from Old English bōtettan(to improve; cure; remedy; repair), or from Middle Dutch botsen, butsen, boetsen(to repair; patch), related to beat.


botch ‎(third-person singular simple present botches, present participle botching, simple past and past participle botched)

  1. (transitive) To perform (a task) in an unacceptable or incompetent manner; to make a mess of something; to ruin; to bungle; to spoil; to destroy.
    A botched haircut seems to take forever to grow out.
  2. To do something without skill, without care, or clumsily.
  3. To repair or mend clumsily.




botch ‎(plural botches)

  1. An action, job, or task that has been performed very badly.
  2. A patch put on, or a part of a garment patched or mended in a clumsy manner.
  3. A ruined, defective, or clumsy piece of work; mess; bungle.
    • Shakespeare
      To leave no rubs nor botches in the work.
  4. A mistake that is very stupid or embarrassing.
  5. A messy, disorderly or confusing combination; conglomeration; hodgepodge.

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Anglo-Norman boche, from Late Latin bocia(boss).


botch ‎(plural botches)

  1. (obsolete) A tumour or other malignant swelling.
    • Milton
      Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss.
  2. A case or outbreak of boils or sores.
    • 1395, John Wycliffe, Bible, Job II:
      Therfor Sathan ȝede out fro the face of the Lord, and smoot Joob with a ful wickid botche fro the sole of the foot til to his top [...].
    • 1611, Bible (Authorized Version), Deuteronomy XXVIII:
      The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.