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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ From an unmarked ketch the authorities watched him feeding scraps of metal from the car-deck to the seagulls which exploded.
▪ In his thirty-two-foot ketch, Nuria, he set out from the small harbour under the shoulder of his Hebridean island.
▪ She's a beauty; a forty-foot ketch built of mahogany on oak.
▪ You listen to his gruff voice giving orders to his crew as they row him out to his ketch.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ketch \Ketch\, v. t. [See Catch.] To catch. [Now obs. in spelling, and colloq. in pronunciation.]

To ketch him at a vantage in his snares.


Ketch \Ketch\ (k[e^]ch), n. [Prob. corrupted fr. Turk. q[=a][imac]q : cf. F. caiche. Cf. Ca["i]que.] (Naut.)

  1. An almost obsolete form of sailing vessel, with a mainmast and a mizzenmast, -- usually from one hundred to two hundred and fifty tons burden.

  2. (Naut.) In modern usage, a sailing vessel having two masts, with the main mast taller than the aftermost, or mizzen, mast.

    Bomb ketch. See under Bomb.


Ketch \Ketch\, n. A hangman. See Jack Ketch.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

kind of small sailing vessel, 1650s, earlier catch (mid-15c.), cache (late 14c.), probably from Middle English cacchen "to capture, ensnare, chase" (see catch (v.)). Compare the sense development in yacht.


Etymology 1 n. A fore-and-aft rigged sailing vessel with two masts, mainmast and mizzenmast, the mizzen being stepped forward of the rudder post. Etymology 2

vb. (eye dialect of catch English). Etymology 3

n. A hangman. vb. (context rare English) To hang.


n. a sailing vessel with two masts; the mizzen is forward of the rudderpost


A ketch is a sailing craft with two masts. The distinguishing characteristic of a ketch is that the forward of the two masts (the "mainmast") is larger than the after mast (the "mizzen"). Historically the ketch was a square-rigged vessel, most commonly used as a freighter or fishing boat in northern Europe, particularly in the Baltic and North seas. In modern usage, the ketch is a fore-and-aft rigged vessel used as a yacht or pleasure craft.

Ketch (disambiguation)

A ketch is a sailing craft with two masts.

Ketch may also refer to:

  • Daniel Ketch, a Marvel Comics character
  • Jack Ketch (died 1686), English executioner
  • Megan Ketch, American actress
  • Ketch Harbour, Nova Scotia
  • Slang term for Ketamine

Usage examples of "ketch".

The mainsail of the ketch flashed in the light as the helmsman gybed to bring the wind upon her starboard quarter.

Sloops and ketches and multihull sailboats were anchored off the two-mile crescent of beach.

But she won mahhy me say she twell I steel one thousum dollah fum Doctah Revend Fearnaught an huh an me we tek it on de heel an toe 2 Calyforny or sum fool plaice whah dey caint ketch us.

It was now the 8th, and the two bomb ketches had to be watered, provisioned and anchored outside Porto Ercole by the 13th, when the frigates were due.

If he ketches a feller in an out-of-the-way place, he is sartin to gobble him up.

When Trux was seventeen he sailed six thousand miles on a fifty-six-foot ketch with his uncle.

He had even speculated that the French were frightened that the bomb ketches might be attacked by the Algerine pirates, still occasionally raiding the Italian coasts.

Jackson and Stafford stood by at the rolling hitch, the knot making a bulky lump in the anchor cable which, in the bomb ketch, went over the bow through a fairlead in the bulwark, not through a hawse hole, so that if they were not careful the knot would jam.

And then he see how it was, and he was the maddest man--he set the frog down and took out after that feeler, but he never ketched him.

A formfitting chair, a tall cool drink, a Venusian cigar, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik on the taper, aboard his ketch while he sails with a bunch of dancing girls down Sunda Straits, that is only which he wants.

Only one prisoner was taken, a wounded Tripolitan, who swam to the ketch, and whose life was spared, notwithstanding strict orders not to take prisoners.

The ketch in which Decatur made his daring and successful expedition was christened the Intrepid, and fitted up as a floating mine with the purpose of sending her into the harbor, and exploding her in the midst of the Tripolitan shipping.

Renouf, who was genuinely fascinated by bomb ketches and very proud of his mortars, regarded 4,000 yards as an acceptable range: the master armourer at Brest had tried out all four mortars at the sea range off Camaret, firing five rounds from each, with the master shipwright in attendance, and going down and inspecting the underdeck stanchions and the stringers after each round was fired.

Who ever has ketched a glimpse of them majestic fingers, Josiah Allen?

At the sight of the reassuringly familiar shape of a local boat, he realised how much he had dreaded seeing Budo Budda's ketch instead.