poach

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈpoʊt͡ʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊtʃ

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English pochen (to poach (eggs)), from Old French pocher "to put (egg yolks) in pockets" (i.e. in bags formed by the whites), from Old French poche (pocket).

Verb[edit]

poach (third-person singular simple present poaches, present participle poaching, simple past and past participle poached)

  1. (transitive) To cook something in simmering liquid.
    • 1931, Francis Beeding, “1/1”, in Death Walks in Eastrepps[1]:
      Eldridge closed the despatch-case with a snap and, rising briskly, walked down the corridor to his solitary table in the dining-car. Mulligatawny soup, poached turbot, roast leg of lamb—the usual railway dinner.
  2. (intransitive) To be cooked in simmering liquid
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] VVilliam Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], OCLC 1044372886:
      The white of an egg with spirit of wine, doth bake the egg into clots, as if it began to poach.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

poach (plural poaches)

  1. The act of cooking in simmering liquid.
    • 2005, Jill Dupleix, Good Cooking: The New Basics (page 152)
      Peaches are so perfect they need very little to make them extra special—just a quick poach in basil-scented rosé wine and a few adoring strawberries.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old French pocher, pochier (to trample, poach into). Doublet of poke.

Verb[edit]

poach (third-person singular simple present poaches, present participle poaching, simple past and past participle poached)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To trespass on another's property to take fish or game.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To take game or fish illegally.
    • 2021 November 12, Christine Chung, “2 Ivory Smugglers Captured in International Operation, U.S. Says”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN 0362-4331:
      A 2016 study using carbon dating of more than 200 tusks from seizures spanning nine countries suggested that illegal ivory originates from elephants poached recently, instead of being pilfered from aging stockpiles kept by various nations.
  3. (by extension, transitive, intransitive) To take anything illegally or unfairly.
    • 2022 February 10, Phil McNulty, “Manchester City 6-0 Chelsea”, in BBC Sport[3]:
      Chelsea's embarrassment was symbolised by Ross Barkley's inexplicable header straight to the feet of Aguero to poach his second and Ilkay Gundogan capped that early blitz with a low drive.
  4. (figuratively) To intrude; to interfere; to get involved inappropriately, without welcome.
    to poach in foreign academic disciplines
    (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought:)
  5. (business, transitive, intransitive) To entice (an employee or customer) to switch from a competing company to one's own.
    • 2019 August 1, Karen Weise, “EBay Accuses Amazon Managers of Conspiring to Poach Its Sellers”, in The New York Times[4], ISSN 0362-4331:
      EBay has accused three Amazon managers of illegally conspiring to poach its sellers, escalating a monthslong feud between two of the country’s largest e-commerce companies.
  6. To make soft or muddy by trampling.
    Cattle coming to drink had punched and poached the river bank into a mess of mud.
  7. To become soft or muddy by being trampled on.
    • 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock [], and J[onathan] Robinson [], published 1708, OCLC 13320837:
      Chalky and clay lands [] chap in summer, and poach in winter.
  8. (obsolete) To stab; to pierce; to spear or drive or plunge into something.
    • 1602, Richard Carew, Survey of Cornwall:
      They vse alſo to poche them with an instrument somewhat like the Sammon-speare
    • 1673, William Temple, Observations upon the United Provinces
      his horse poching one of his legs into some hollow ground
    • 2011, Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races:
      Mutt Malvern stands with a wicked blade in one hand and, in the other, a three-pronged leister spear of the sort used to poach fish or birds.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

poach (plural poaches)

  1. The act of taking something unfairly, as in tennis doubles where one player returns a shot that their partner was better placed to return.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]