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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English cratchen, cracchen ‎(to scratch), alteration of *cratsen ‎(to scratch), from Old Norse *kratsa or Middle Low German kratsen, krassen ‎(to scratch), both ultimately from Old High German krazzōn, crazōn ‎(to scratch), from Proto-Germanic *krattōną ‎(to scratch), from Proto-Indo-European *gred-, *grod- ‎(to scratch, scrape). Cognate with Icelandic krota ‎(to engrave). Compare also Icelandic krassa ‎(to scrawl), Danish kradse ‎(to scratch, scrape, claw), Swedish kratsa ‎(to scratch), Dutch kratsen ‎(to scratch), German kratzen ‎(to scratch).


cratch ‎(third-person singular simple present cratches, present participle cratching, simple past and past participle cratched)

  1. (obsolete) To scratch.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English cratche, cracche, crecche ‎(crib), from Old French creche ‎(crib, manger), from Frankish *krippija ‎(crib), akin to Old High German crippa, cripha ‎(crib). More at creche, crib.


cratch ‎(plural cratches)

  1. (obsolete) A grated crib or manger.
    • Spenser
      Begin from first where He encradled was, / In simple cratch, wrapt in a wad of hay.
  2. (nautical) The vertical planks at the forward end of the hold of a traditional English narrowboat which constrain the cargo and support the top plank or walkway.
    • 1966, Gervis Frere-Cook, The decorative arts of the mariner:
      The fore-end of the cargo space terminates in a triangular board, called the cratch, raised to the same height as the cabin roof and connected to it [...]
Derived terms[edit]