From Middle English *recchen, *rechen, from Old English hrǣċan (“to clear the throat, hawk, spit”), from Proto-Germanic *hrēkijaną (“to clear one's throat”), from Proto-Indo-European *kreg- (“to caw, crow”). Cognate with Icelandic hrækja (“to hawk, spit”), Limburgish räöke (“to induce vomiting”).
- reach (archaic or dialectal)
- To make an unsuccessful effort to vomit; to strain, as in vomiting.
- Here he grew inarticulate with retching.
retch (plural retches)
- An unsuccessful effort to vomit.