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

  • n. A rod or branch serving as a roost for a bird.
  • n. An elevated place for resting or sitting.
  • n. A position that is secure, advantageous, or prominent.
  • n. A pole, stick, or rod.
  • n. Chiefly British A linear measure equal to 5.50 yards or 16.5 feet (5.03 meters); a rod.
  • n. Chiefly British One square rod of land.
  • n. 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).
  • n. A frame on which cloth is laid for examination of quality.
  • intransitive v. To alight or rest on a perch; roost: A raven perched high in the pine.
  • intransitive v. To stand, sit, or rest on an elevated place or position.
  • transitive v. To place on or as if on a perch: The child perched the glass on the edge of the counter.
  • transitive v. To lay (cloth) on a perch in order to examine it.
  • n. Any of various spiny-finned freshwater fishes of the genus Perca, especially either of two edible species, P. flavescens, of North America, and P. fluviatilis, of Europe.
  • n. Any of various similar or related fishes, such as the pike perch or the grouper.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the three species of spiny-finned freshwater fish in the genus Perca.
  • n. Any of the about 200 related species of fish in the taxonomic family Percidae.
  • n. Several similar species in the order Perciformes, such as the grouper.
  • n. a rod, staff, or branch of a tree etc used as a roost by a bird
  • n. a position that is secure and advantageous, especially one which is prominent or elevated
  • n. a linear measure of 5½ yards, equal to a rod, a pole or ¼ chain; the related square measure
  • n. a cubic measure of stonework equal to 16.6 × 1.5 × 1 feet
  • n. a frame used to examine cloth
  • v. To rest on (or as if on) a perch; to roost.
  • v. To stay in an elevated position.
  • v. To place something on (or as if on) a perch.
  • v. To inspect cloth using a perch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any fresh-water fish of the genus Perca and of several other allied genera of the family Percidæ, as the common American or yellow perch (Perca flavescens syn. Perca Americana), and the European perch (Perca fluviatilis).
  • n. Any one of numerous species of spiny-finned fishes belonging to the Percidæ, Serranidæ, and related families, and resembling, more or less, the true perches.
  • n. A pole; a long staff; a rod; esp., a pole or other support for fowls to roost on or to rest on; a roost; figuratively, any elevated resting place or seat.
  • n.
  • n. A measure of length containing five and a half yards; a rod, or pole.
  • n. In land or square measure: A square rod; the 160th part of an acre.
  • n. In solid measure: A mass 161/2 feet long, 1 foot in height, and 11/2 feet in breadth, or 243/4 cubic feet (in local use, from 22 to 25 cubic feet); -- used in measuring stonework.
  • n. A pole connecting the fore gear and hind gear of a spring carriage; a reach.
  • intransitive v. To alight or settle, as a bird; to sit or roost.
  • transitive v. To place or to set on, or as on, a perch.
  • transitive v. To occupy as a perch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

  • n. support consisting of a branch or rod that serves as a resting place (especially for a bird)
  • n. an elevated place serving as a seat
  • n. a square rod of land
  • n. any of numerous spiny-finned fishes of various families of the order Perciformes
  • n. spiny-finned freshwater food and game fishes
  • n. a linear measure of 16.5 feet
  • v. to come to rest, settle
  • v. sit, as on a branch
  • n. any of numerous fishes of America and Europe
  • v. cause to perch or sit


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

Middle English perche, from Old French, from Latin pertica, stick, pole.
Middle English perche, from Old French, from Latin perca, from Greek perkē.

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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  • 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

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

    November 5, 2011

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

    June 22, 2009