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From Middle English pouche, poche, borrowed from Old Northern French pouche, from Old French poche, puche (whence French poche; compare also the Anglo-Norman variant poke), of Germanic origin: from Frankish *poka (pouch) (compare Middle Dutch poke, Old English pohha, dialectal German Pfoch). Doublet of poke; compare pocket.


  • IPA(key): /paʊt͡ʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊtʃ


pouch (plural pouches)

  1. A small bag usually closed with a drawstring.
  2. (zoology) An organic pocket in which a marsupial carries its young.
    Synonym: marsupium
  3. Any pocket or bag-shaped object, such as a cheek pouch.
  4. (slang, dated, derogatory) A protuberant belly; a paunch.
  5. A cyst or sac containing fluid.
    • 1747, Samuel Sharp, A Treatise on the Operations of Surgery:
      [] form a large Pouch or Cyst
  6. (botany) A silicle, or short pod, as of the shepherd's purse.
  7. A bulkhead in the hold of a vessel, to prevent grain etc. from shifting.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]


pouch (third-person singular simple present pouches, present participle pouching, simple past and past participle pouched)

  1. (transitive) To enclose within a pouch.
    The beggar pouched the coin.
  2. (transitive) To transport within a pouch, especially a diplomatic pouch.
    We pouched the encryption device to our embassy in Beijing.
  3. (of fowls and fish) To swallow.
    • 1713, William Derham, Physico-theology, or a Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God[1]:
      And, to name no more, the common Heron hath its most remarkable Parts adapted to this Service; long Legs for wading; and a long Neck answerable thereto to reach Prey; a wide, extensive Throat to pouch it; long Toes, with strong hooked Talons []
    • 1820, Thomas Frederick Salter, The Trollerʻs Guide: A New and Complete Practical Treatise on the Art of Trolling Or Fishing for Jack and Pike[2]:
      [] but if they shake the line and move, after they have remained still three or four minutes, you may conclude the fish has pouched the bait and feels the hooks, then wind up your slack and strike, but not violently, and always mind to keep the point of your rod a little raised while you are playing and killing your fish []
  4. (obsolete, rare) To pout.
  5. (obsolete) To pocket; to put up with.