from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An opening, as in the deck of a ship, in the roof or floor of a building, or in an aircraft.
  • n. The cover for such an opening.
  • n. A hatchway.
  • n. Nautical A ship's compartment.
  • n. The hinged rear door of a hatchback.
  • n. A floodgate.
  • idiom down the hatch Slang Drink up. Often used as a toast.
  • intransitive v. To emerge from or break out of an egg.
  • transitive v. To produce (young) from an egg.
  • transitive v. To cause (an egg or eggs) to produce young.
  • transitive v. To devise or originate, especially in secret: hatch an assassination plot.
  • n. The act or an instance of hatching.
  • n. The young hatched at one time; a brood.
  • transitive v. To shade by drawing or etching fine parallel or crossed lines on.
  • n. A fine line used in hatching.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A horizontal door in a floor or ceiling.
  • n. A trapdoor.
  • n. An opening in a wall at window height for the purpose of serving food or other items. A pass through.
  • n. A small door in large mechanical structures and vehicles such as aircraft and spacecraft often provided for access for maintenance.
  • n. A opening through the deck of a ship or submarine.
  • n. A gullet.
  • v. To close with a hatch or hatches.
  • v. (of young animals) To emerge from an egg.
  • v. (of eggs) To break open when a young animal emerges from it.
  • v. To incubate eggs; to cause to hatch.
  • v. To devise. (hatch a plan)
  • n. A group of birds that emerged from eggs at a specified time.
  • n. The phenomenon, lasting 1-2 days, of large clouds of mayflies appearing in one location (to mate, having reached maturity).
  • n. As in the phrase "hatched, matched, and dispatched." A birth, the birth records (in the newspaper).
  • v. To shade an area of a drawing or diagram with fine parallel lines, or with lines which cross each other: cross-hatch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of hatching.
  • n. Development; disclosure; discovery.
  • n. The chickens produced at once or by one incubation; a brood.
  • n. A door with an opening over it; a half door, sometimes set with spikes on the upper edge.
  • n. A frame or weir in a river, for catching fish.
  • n. A flood gate; a sluice gate.
  • n. A bedstead.
  • n. An opening in the deck of a vessel or floor of a warehouse which serves as a passageway or hoistway; a hatchway; also; a cover or door, or one of the covers used in closing such an opening.
  • n. An opening into, or in search of, a mine.
  • intransitive v. To produce young; -- said of eggs; to come forth from the egg; -- said of the young of birds, fishes, insects, etc.
  • transitive v. To cross with lines in a peculiar manner in drawing and engraving. See hatching.
  • transitive v. To cross; to spot; to stain; to steep.
  • transitive v. To produce, as young, from an egg or eggs by incubation, or by artificial heat; to produce young from (eggs).
  • transitive v. To contrive or plot; to form by meditation, and bring into being; to originate and produce; to concoct
  • transitive v. To close with a hatch or hatches.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To close with or as with a hatch.
  • To cause to develop in and emerge from (an egg) by incubation or other natural process, or by artificial heat; cause the developed young to emerge from (an egg).
  • To contrive or plot, especially secretly; form by meditation, and bring into being; originate and produce: as, to hatch mischief; to hatch heresy.
  • To be hatched, as the eggs of birds, reptiles, fishes, insects, etc.: as, the eggs hatch in two weeks, in the water, under ground, etc.
  • To come forth from or out of the egg: as, the chicks hatch naked in ten days.
  • To chase; engrave; mark with cuts or lines.
  • Specifically, in drawing, engraving, etc., to shade by means of lines; especially, to shade with lines crossing one another. See hatching and cross-hatching.
  • To lay in small and numerous bands upon a ground of different material: as, laces of silver hatched on a satin ground.
  • n. A half-door, or a door with an opening over it; a grated or latticed door or gate; a wicket.
  • n. A grate or frame of cross-bars laid over an opening in a ship's deck; hence, any cover of an opening in a ship's deck.
  • n. An opening, generally rectangular, in a ship's deck, for taking in or discharging the cargo, or for affording a passage into the interior of the ship; a hatchway.
  • n. Hence Any similar opening, as in the floor of a building, or a cover placed over it.
  • n. An opening made in a mine, or made in searching for a mine.
  • n. A rack for hay.
  • n. A frame or weir in a river, for catching fish.
  • n. A bedstead.
  • n. A hollow trap to catch weasels and other animals.
  • n. Under close confinement; in servitude.
  • n. A brood; as many young birds as are produced at one time, or by one incubation.
  • n. The number of eggs incubated at one time; a clutch.
  • n. The act of hatching; also, that which is hatched, in either sense of that word.
  • n. A shading line in drawing or engraving.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. shading consisting of multiple crossing lines
  • n. a movable barrier covering a hatchway
  • v. devise or invent
  • v. sit on (eggs)
  • n. the production of young from an egg
  • v. inlay with narrow strips or lines of a different substance such as gold or silver, for the purpose of decorating
  • v. draw, cut, or engrave lines, usually parallel, on metal, wood, or paper
  • v. emerge from the eggs


Middle English, small door, from Old English hæc, hæcc.
Middle English hacchen, from Old English *hæccan.
Middle English hachen, to engrave, carve, from Old French hacher, hachier, to crosshatch, cut up; see hash1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English hache, from Old English hæc, from Proto-Germanic *hakjō (compare Dutch hek ‘gate, railing’, Low German Hek ‘fence’, German Hecke), variant of *hagjō ‘hedge’. More at hedge. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English hacchen ‘to propagate’, cognate with German hecken ‘to breed, spawn’, Danish hække ("to hatch"); akin to Latvian kakale ‘penis’. (Wiktionary)
From Middle French hacher ("to chop, slice up, incise with fine lines"); Old French hachier (Wiktionary)



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