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

  • n. Nautical A two-masted fore-and-aft-rigged sailing vessel with a mizzenmast stepped aft of a taller mainmast but forward of the rudder.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fore and aft rigged sailing vessel with two masts, main and mizzen, the mizzen being stepped forward of the rudder post.
  • v. Eye dialect spelling of catch..
  • v. To hang.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An almost obsolete form of sailing vessel, with a mainmast and a mizzenmast, -- usually from one hundred to two hundred and fifty tons burden.
  • n. In modern usage, a sailing vessel having two masts, with the main mast taller than the aftermost, or mizzen, mast.
  • n. A hangman. See jack ketch.
  • transitive v. To catch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An obsolete or dialectal form of catch.
  • n. A small, strongly built, twomasted vessel, usually of from 100 to 250 tons burden, but sometimes of less.
  • n. A variant of keech.

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

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


Middle English cache, from cacchen, to catch; see catch.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)
See catch (Wiktionary)
From Jack Ketch, a hangman of the 17th century. (Wiktionary)


  • "Yes, Madam Budd, yes; we have them sort of catches, too; but I now mean the vessel with a peculiar rig, which we call a ketch, you know."

    Jack Tier

  • A few years later, however, Prince Rupert and some other prominent members of the court and the city bought the third-hand forty-three-ton ketch, the "Nonsuch", and borrowed the fifty-four-ton "Eaglet" ketch from the King.

    Three Hundred Years

  • A small vessel known as a ketch had recently been captured from the

    American Men of Action

  • A small vessel known as a ketch had recently been captured from the Tripolitans, and Decatur selected this in which to make the venture.

    American Men of Action

  • In response, the pilot of the ketch answered, that the ketch was a coaster from Malta, that she had lost her anchors in the late gale, and had been nearly wrecked, and that she now asked permission to ride by the frigate during the night.

    The Naval History of the United States Volume 1 (of 2)

  • A small vessel known as a ketch had been recently captured from the Tripolitans by Decatur, and this prize was now named the Intrepid, and assigned to him for the work he had in hand.

    Hero Tales from American History

  • Billingsgate: the ships begin opposite the Tower: two or three great three-masted vessels are shown: and two or three smaller ships of the kind called ketch, sloop, or hoy.

    The History of London

  • "A ketch is a two-masted craft, Master Geoffrey," John Lirriper said.

    By England's Aid Or, the Freeing of the Netherlands, 1585-1604

  • A ketch is a sort of ship, father, though I don't quite know what sort of ship.

    By England's Aid Or, the Freeing of the Netherlands, 1585-1604

  • What on most ranches in the Southwest is called a ketch (catch) rope is a reata in Mexican Spanish.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XVIII No 4


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