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A coati sitting in a crotch of a tree.


Of disputed origin; two possibilities seem likely:



crotch (plural crotches)

  1. The area where something forks or branches, a ramification takes place.
    There is a child sitting in a crotch of that tree.
  2. The ventral area (very bottom) of the human body between where the legs fork from the torso, in the area of the genitals and anus.
    Every mile they rode their crotches felt worse saddlepain.
  3. (slang, euphemistic) Either the male or female genitalia.
    He cringed at being kicked in the crotch.
  4. (billiards) In the three-ball carom game, a small space at each corner of the table.
  5. (typography) The open counter (negative space) formed by two downward strokes that meet at an internal acute angle, potentially above a vertex, as in the letters "V" and "Y".

Derived terms[edit]



crotch (third-person singular simple present crotches, present participle crotching, simple past and past participle crotched)

  1. (transitive) To provide with a crotch; to give the form of a crotch to.
    to crotch the ends of ropes in splicing or tying knots
  2. (transitive, logging, historical, Western US) To notch (a log) on opposite sides to provide a grip for the dogs that will haul it.
  3. (transitive) To shoplift or smuggle by hiding between one's thighs or in one's underwear.
    • 2008, Patrick Blennerhassett, Monument, page 182:
      I remember crotching a bottle of Corona out of a pub on Commercial Drive and nursing it with Cancer as we stumbled towards my car .
    • 2014, Ryan Patrick Sullivan, Mrs. O'Leary's Cow, page 107:
      I crotched them. I put them in my underwear.
    • 2020, Charles A. Sennewald, Curtis Baillie, Effective Security Management, page 136:
      Techniques used: the woman rolled four coats and crotched them (placed them under her dress and held them between her thighs), and each of the men wrapped three coats around his midsection
  4. (transitive) To hit in the crotch (genital region).
    • 2002, Pat McNeill, The Tables All Were Broken=, page 4:
      Flair and Paisley flirted until Daffney crotched David from behind with a baseball bat.
    • 2015, James Dixon, Bob Dahlstrom, Benjamin Richardson, The Nitro Files: 1995, page 10:
      Pillman gets crotched on the top rope and barely kicks out of a superplex.
    • 2013, Steven Johnson, Greg Oliver, Mike Mooneyham, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: Heroes and Icons:
      Calhoun turns around and Leo is facing him and he crotched him.
  5. (transitive, sailing) To secure (the boom) to the boom crotch (a forked pole).
    • 1864, William N. Brady, The Kedge-anchor, Or Young Sailor's Assistant, page 192:
      [] when she begins to go astern, let go the anchor, brail up the spanker, crotch the boom, haul taut the guys, light-to the cable, as fast as she will take it, until a sufficient scope is out, when stopper.
    • 1907, H.R. Stiles, “Notes on Rigging”, in Thomas Fleming Day, editor, The Rudder, volume 18, page 611:
      I always crotched the boom while reefing, and made an easy job of it, the boat, in the meantime, taking perfect care of herself on any point of sailing, under jib and jigger.
    • 1969, Yachting - Volume 125, page 319:
      The big coiled throat and peak halyards were made ready to run, and the mainsheet was put to the winch ready for crotching the boom.
  6. (transitive, tree work) To hang (a rope) over a crotch in a tree so that the ends hang down from opposite sides.
    • 1935, United States. National Park Service. Branch of forestry, Tree Preservation Bulletin - Issues 1-9, page 9:
      The safety sling should be tied immediately after the climber has crotched his rope as high and as close to the trunk as possible.
    • 1955, A. Robert Thompson, Rope, Knots and Climbing, page 11:
      If it is necessary, however, to climb directly onto the limb where the rope is crotched, the limb may be approached as shown in Figure 32.
    • 1999, Robert H. Griffin, Safety and Health Requirements Manual: U.S. Army Corps, page 563:
      The climbing line shall be crotched as soon as practicable after the employee is aloft, and a taut-line hitch tied and checked.
  7. (transitive) To remove overgrown wool from around the eyes of.
    • 1948 April 27, “Production and Marketing Administration”, in Federal Register, volume 13, page 2265:
      Cattle and sheep purchased by contract for a specific consignee at point of origin, and moving on through billing to points beyond Denver, may be stopped at Denver to be weighed, classified, sorted, inspected, delivered, tagged, faced, crotched, and/or diverted for a charge of $7.50 per car or per truck in lieu of yardage.
    • 2011, Andrew Krivak ·, The Sojourn:
      My father crotched the ewes before they gave birth, and then played midwife to entire flocks once they started lambing in late April, often with the help of Rusyn peasants who knew just when to show up every year and who seemed fond of my tall, independent father.
    • 2013, Reginald Wells, At Daytrap: Tales from a farmhouse at Daytrap:
      He was meant to be crotching the sheep that day, and crotching, as is well known in rural circles, is very thirsty work.
    • 2014, Tamara McKinley, Matilda's Last Waltz:
      If you can get your mob marked, crotched and over to Wilga by then, they can be done with mine.