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

  • noun A roll of hair brushed up from the forehead or temple.
  • noun A hairstyle especially among certain Native American peoples in which the head is shaved except for a strip from front to back across the top.
  • noun Nautical An outward curve in the leech of a fore-and-aft sail.
  • transitive verb To brush (hair) in a roach.
  • transitive verb To shave (the mane of a horse) to a short bristle.
  • noun An edible freshwater cyprinid fish (Rutilus rutilus) of northern Europe.
  • noun Any of various similar fishes, such as some North American freshwater sunfishes.
  • noun A cockroach.
  • noun Slang The butt of a marijuana cigarette.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The redfin, Rutilus rutilus, a common European shiner or minnow of the family Cyprinidæ.
  • To cause to stand up or arch; make projecting or convex: as, his hair was roached up over his forehead.
  • To cut short so as to cause to stand up straight; hog: said of horses' manes.
  • noun A cockroach.
  • To make hard like a rock.
  • noun A rock.
  • noun Refuse gritty stone.
  • noun In England, a shell limestone occurring at the top of the Portland Stone or Portlandian on the Isle of Portland.
  • noun A common cyprinoid fish of Europe, Leuciscus rutilus.
  • noun In the United States, one of many different fishes like or mistaken for the roach, as some sunfish of the genus Lepomis or Pomotis;
  • noun the spot or lafayette
  • noun the American chub, Semotilus atromaculatus.
  • noun Nautical, a concave curve in the leech or foot of a square sail, to improve the fit of the sail.
  • noun An upstanding curl or roll of hair over the forehead, like the roach of a sail.
  • noun A rash, or eruption on the skin.

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

  • noun A European fresh-water fish of the Carp family (Leuciscus rutilus). It is silver-white, with a greenish back.
  • noun An American chub (Semotilus bullaris); the fallfish.
  • noun The redfin, or shiner.
  • noun (Naut.) A convex curve or arch cut in the edge of a sail to prevent chafing, or to secure a better fit.
  • noun perfectly sound.
  • transitive verb To cause to arch.
  • transitive verb To cut off, as a horse's mane, so that the part left shall stand upright.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A cockroach.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small freshwater fish in the carp family (Cyprinidae), Rutilus rutilus.
  • noun US a cockroach.
  • noun US, slang, smoking A butt of a marijuana cigarette.
  • noun UK, slang, smoking The filter of a rolled cigarette or joint, made from card or paper.
  • noun nautical An extra curve of material added to the leech edge of a sail to increase the sail area.

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

  • verb cut the mane off (a horse)
  • noun a roll of hair brushed back from the forehead
  • noun street names for flunitrazepan
  • noun European freshwater food fish having a greenish back
  • noun any of numerous chiefly nocturnal insects; some are domestic pests
  • verb comb (hair) into a roach
  • noun the butt of a marijuana cigarette


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

[Origin unknown.]

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

[Middle English roche, from Old French roce, roche.]


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  • I felt better when everything was in


    it will take me some months to get back to normal:

    I can't even find a roach to commune with.

    I have lost my rythm.

    I can't sleep.

    I can't eat.

    I have been robbed of

    my filth.

    - Charles Bukowski, 'Metamorphosis'.

    November 26, 2008

  • When meaning roach fish is the plural also roach?

    May 19, 2010

  • I saw a roach on my stove tonight, so I grabbed what I thought was a can of Raid. It turns out that Resolve also comes in red cans. So, I was chasing this roach around thinking, "DIE, ROACH, DIE", and it wouldn't die. So I finally killed it by sheer blunt force, but I doused our stove in carpet cleaner in the process. Bad day to be that roach.

    January 19, 2012

  • My mother used to date a Buddhist--she'd often complain about how he'd capture the roaches in his kitchen and bring them outside (instead of killing them). She used to laugh about coming back as a tick or a roach because she'd spent so many happy hours devising ways to kill them. Later I had a friend who was studying to be a yoga teacher--she told me one of the things they heard in their training was that teachers who make wrong actions are probably reincarnated as roaches. I think the idea was that killing roaches somehow helps them make their way out of darkness and back toward enlightenment.

    Also see beetlestomper.

    January 19, 2012

  • Huh? So by not killing the roaches, he was prolonging their stint as a roach?

    January 20, 2012

  • I think it depends on which version of reincarnation you're into.

    January 20, 2012

  • A customer whose credit is so bad that they can't possibly qualify for a loan.

    September 9, 2018