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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
    A botched haircut seems to take forever to grow out.
    Synonyms: ruin, bungle, spoil, destroy
  2. To do something without skill, without care, or clumsily. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. To repair or mend clumsily.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


botch (plural botches)

  1. An action, job, or task that has been performed very badly; a ruined, defective, or clumsy piece of work. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  2. A patch put on, or a part of a garment patched or mended in a clumsy manner.
  3. A mistake that is very stupid or embarrassing. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  4. A messy, disorderly or confusing combination; conglomeration; hodgepodge.
  5. (archaic) One who makes a mess of something; a bungler.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard
      'If it was the last word I ever spoke, Puddock, you're a good-natured—he's a gentleman, Sir—and it was all my own fault; he warned me, he did, again' swallyin' a dhrop of it—remember what I'm saying, doctor—'twas I that done it; I was always a botch, Puddock, an' a fool; and—and—gentlemen—good-bye.'

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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John 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.