From Middle English dich, from Old English dīċ (“trench, moat”) from Proto-Germanic *dīkaz (compare Swedish dike, Icelandic díki, West Frisian dyk (“dam”), Dutch dijk (“id.”), German Teich (“pond”)), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeygʷ- (“to stick, set up”) (compare Latin fīgō (“to affix, fasten”), Lithuanian diegti (“to prick; plant”), dýgsti (“to geminate, grow”)). Doublet of dike.
ditch (plural ditches)
- A trench; a long, shallow indentation, as for irrigation or drainage.
- Digging ditches has long been considered one of the most demanding forms of manual labor.
- The truck careered off the road into a ditch.
- 2011, Ralph D. Sawyer, Ancient Chinese Warfare, Basic Books, →ISBN, LCCN 2010051391, OCLC 657595552, page 30:
- Ditches continued to be employed as the sole defensive measure at many sites even after wall building began to emerge. For example, an immense ditch varying between 15 and 20 meters in width and marked by depths of 2.5 to 3.8 meters has recently been discovered in Hubei near Sui-chou.
- (Ireland) A raised bank of earth and the hedgerow on top.
- c. 1947, Patrick Kavanagh, “Stony Grey Soil”, in Poetry Selections, University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University, archived from the original on 14 March 2021, retrieved 14 March 2021, page 1:
- You flung a ditch on my vision
- Of beauty, love and truth.
- O stony grey soil of Monaghan
- You burgled my bank of youth!
- 2013 October 31, Frank McNally, “When Anglophone lines get crossed”, in The Irish Times, Dublin: Irish Times Trust, archived from the original on 14 March 2021:
- The original ditches were created by digging trenches, as boundaries and/or irrigation. But to the English, the ditch is the trench. Whereas in Ireland, the ditch is the raised bank of earth and the hedgerow on top. (As for the trench, where I come from that’s a sheugh).
- (transitive) To discard or abandon.
- Once the sun came out we ditched our rain-gear and started a campfire.
- Why did you ditch your last boyfriend? He was so nice to you.
- (transitive, intransitive, aviation) To deliberately crash-land an airplane on water.
- When the second engine failed, the pilot was forced to ditch; their last location was just south of the Azores.
- (transitive, intransitive) To deliberately not attend classes; to play hookey.
- The truant officer caught Louise ditching with her friends, and her parents were forced to pay a fine.
- 2005 December 2, Dan Shive, El Goonish Shive (webcomic), Comic for Friday, Dec 2, 2005:
- "No, instead, it just had enough power to transform me, overload, and force me to wait to change back! I had to ditch school!"
- (intransitive) To dig ditches.
- Enclosure led to fuller winter employment in hedging and ditching.
- (transitive) To dig ditches around.
- The soldiers ditched the tent to prevent flooding.
- (transitive) To throw into a ditch.
- The engine was ditched and turned on its side.
- Alternative form of
- Alternative form of