from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several spiny-finned freshwater fishes of the genus Perca, especially either of two edible species, the yellow perch of North America, and P. fluviatilis of Europe.
  • noun Any of various similar fishes of the family Percidae, such as the walleye, or of other families, such as the white perch or the ocean perch.
  • noun A rod or branch serving as a roost for a bird.
  • noun An elevated place for resting or sitting.
  • noun A position that is secure, advantageous, or prominent.
  • noun A pole, stick, or rod.
  • noun A linear measure equal to 5.50 yards or 16.5 feet (5.03 meters); a rod.
  • noun One square rod of land.
  • noun A unit of cubic measure used in stonework, usually 16.5 feet by 1.0 foot by 1.5 feet, or 24.75 cubic feet (0.70 cubic meter).
  • noun A frame on which cloth is laid for examination of quality.
  • intransitive verb To alight or rest on a perch; roost.
  • intransitive verb To stand, sit, or rest on an elevated place or position.
  • intransitive verb To place on or as if on a perch.
  • intransitive verb To lay (cloth) on a perch in order to examine it.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A rod or pole; especially, a rod or pole serving as a roost for birds; anything on which birds alight and rest.
  • noun Hence An elevated seat or position.
  • noun A rod or pole used as a definite measure of length; a measure of length equal to 5½ yards. Perches of 7 and 8 yards have also been in local use. See pole.
  • noun A square measure equal to 30¼ square yards: 160 perches make an acre.
  • noun A unit of cubic measure used by stone-masons. It is usually 16½ feet by 1½ feet by 1 foot; but it varies greatly.
  • noun A pole or staff set up as a beacon on a shallow place or a rock, or used to mark a channel.
  • noun In vehicles: A pole connecting the fore and hind gears of a spring-carriage; the reach or bar. See cut under barouche.
  • noun An elevated seat for the driver
  • noun [⟨ perch, verb] The act of perching or alighting upon a place; hence, grasp; hold.
  • To alight or settle on a perch or elevated support, as a bird; use a perch; roost.
  • To alight or sit in some elevated position, as if on a perch.
  • To place, set, or fix on a perch or other elevated support.
  • To operate upon (“roughers,” or woolen cloth as taken from the looms) as follows:
  • noun Applied, with various epithets, to many fishes in Australia, none of which belong to the family Percidæ.
  • noun In Australia, Coprodon longimanus.
  • noun In leather manufacturing, a frame on which a skin is stretched flat so that it may be worked smooth and soft.
  • noun In textile-manuf., a frame, usually with two overhead rolls, over which cloth is drawn to be examined for imperfections.
  • noun 11. In car-building, a draft-timber.
  • In leather manufacturing, to soften or draw out by means of a perch. See perch, n., 9.
  • noun A very common fresh-water fish of Europe, Perca fluviatilis, or one of many other species of the same family.
  • noun A fish of one of various other genera or families
  • noun One of the dark species of Lepomis or of Pomotis.
  • noun The black sea-bass, Centropristis atrarius.
  • noun One of the dark viviparous perches, as Ditrema jacksoni.
  • noun The fresh-water drum, or sheepshead, Aplodinotus grunniens.
  • noun The tripletail, Lobotes surinamensis.
  • noun The rose-fish, Sebastes viviparus.
  • noun One of several embiotocoid or viviparous perches
  • noun A serranoid fish, Macquaria australasica.
  • noun The black or wide-mouthed sunfish, Chænobryttus gulosus.
  • noun The fresh-water drum, sheepshead, or black perch, Aplodinotus grunniens.
  • noun One of several different embiotocids or viviparous perches, as Hyperprosopon argenteus, Damalichthys vacca, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To place or to set on, or as on, a perch.
  • transitive verb To occupy as a perch.


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

[Middle English perche, from Old French, from Latin perca, from Greek perkē.]

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

[Middle English perche, from Old French, from Latin pertica, stick, pole.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French perche, from Latin perca, from Ancient Greek πέρκη (perkē, "perch"), cognate with περκνός (perknos, "dark-spotted").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French perche, from Latin pertica ("staff”, “long pole”, “measuring rod").


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  • Far, far away from the wilder eastern Australian coast. A nice place to rest.

    June 22, 2009

  • A square rod; the 160th part of an acre. --from the definitions.

    November 5, 2011

  • He is speaking so often now, and what he says is so closely scrutinized by supporters and detractors alike, that he fears one inartfully phrased remark could be used to pull him down from his new perch.

    January 18, 2018

  • By what quarter 30 and a quarter square yards? That is the perch and perching question!

    July 9, 2019